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The preparation of an English text of the Liber Pontificalis, 
of which the following pages furnish the first installment, is some- 
thing more than the translation of a crabbed text, crowded with 
obscure references. Even of the great libraries in this country 
only about ten possess the original in the best working edition, if 
one may judge by library returns, and it is doubtful if many more 
copies of the complete text exist this side of the Atlantic. A docu- 
ment which long was viewed as of fundamental importance for the 
history of the Papacy has thus sunk so completely out of sight as 
to have become a rather rare curiosity to all but research students 
of medieval history. This is in part due to the character of the 
work, with its forbidding lists of items of local and temporary inter- 
est, in which only the trained archaeologist can find his way, but 
it is also surely due to the fact that both texts and commentary 
have hitherto been in foreign languages and are to be found only 
in costly and rare volumes. The EngUsh version aims to over- 
come these difficulties. While the narrative portions of the text 
have been kept in full, lists of mere names and figures, especially 
in the case of ordinations, have been in part eliminated unless they 
were of distinct historical interest. The narrative, when no longer 
clogged with an undue amount of this material, will be found to 
run along with something of the swiftness of a medieval chronicle. 
The archaeologist, who alone will miss the discarded portions, will 
turn to the original in any case. In the second place, suflficient 
apparatus has been given in the form of explanatory notes to 
make the narrative clear, while bibUographical references furnish 
a guide to the treatment of the more intricate problems. It is 
hoped, therefore, that in its new form — for the Liber Pontificalis 
has never before been translated into any other tongue — this 
quaint monument of curial historiography will be found to have 
retained enough of that charm of naive simpUcity, which the 
scholar appreciates in the original, to lure the general reader of 
history into a study of the important facts with which it deals. 


It should be borne in mind, however, that this volume is not 
an attempt to present a history of the Papacy during the first six 
centuries. It is simply the presentation of an ancient text with 
enough commentary to make it intelligible. The text is that of 
the earliest history of the Papacy, but even were it provided with 
most exhaustive notes, it could never furnish by itself an adequate 
basis for a modern narrative. The historian of to-day has at his 
disposal other documents and archaeological remains, which are 
often of greater importance for an understanding of these early 
pontificates than the meagre biography in the Liber Pontificalis. 
It was originally planned that a collection of such documents should 
form a part of the volume in which the Liber Pontificalis appears ; 
but it now seems best to publish these documents in a separate and 
parallel volume, and so leave the way open to complete the Liber 
Pontificalis, or at least to carry it down to the heart of the Middle 

A word should be said as to the point at which the text of the 
Liber Pontificalis is broken in this edition. When the translation 
was first undertaken it seemed unlikely that it would ever be con- 
tinued further than in the present enterprise. Dr. Loomis, there- 
fore, carried the text through the pontificate of Gregory I, as a 
point of general historical interest. Since there is now a possi- 
bility that the next section of the book may also be translated, the 
division has been put as near to the one originally planned as pos- 
sible, including the pontificates immediately preceding Gregory. 

Those who read this book will surely appreciate the arduous 
task which Dr. Loomis has here accomplished, and their appre- 
ciation will probably grow upon a closer acquaintance with the 

problems involved. 

J. T. S. 


The dates of the first eighteen pontificates are so conjectural that they are not 
given here. ^^^^ 

I. Peter 4 

II. Linus ^ 

III. Cletus 7 

IV. Clement I 7 

V. Anencletus 9 

VI. Evaristus 9 

VII. Alexander ^° 

VIII. Xystus I " 

IX. Telesphorus ^^ 

X. Hyginus ^3 

XI. Pius I ^4 

XII. Anicetus ^5 

XJII. Soter ^^ 

XIV Eleutherius ^° 

XV. Victor ^7 

XVI. Zephyrinus ^9 

XVII. Callistus I 2° 

XVIII. Urbanus I 2^ 

XIX. Pontianus (230-235) 22 

XX. Anteros (235-236) 23 

XXI. Fabianus (236-250) 24 

XXII. Cornelius (251-253) ^5 

XXIII. Lucius (253-254) -^ 

XXIV. Stephen I (254-257) ^9 

XXV. Xystus II (257-258) 3° 

XXVI. Dionysius (259-268) 31 

XXVII. Felix I (269-274) 33 

XXVIII- Eutychianus (275-283) 33 

XXIX. Gaius (283-296) 34 






Marcellinus (296-304) 36 

Marcellus (308-309) 37 

EusEBius (309 or ^\o) 39 

MiLTIADES (3II-314) 40 

Sylvester (314-335) 4i 

Marcus (336) 72 

J0LIUS I (337-352) 73 

LiBERius (352-366) . 75 

Felix II (355-35^) • -78 

Dam ASUS (366-384) 79 

SiRicius (384-399) 83 

Anastasius t (399-401) 85 

Innocent I (401-417) 86 

ZosiMus (417-418) 88 

Boniface I (418-422) 89 

Celestine I (422-432) 92 

Xystus III (432-440) 93 

Leo I (440-461) 97 

Hilary (461-468) 102 

SiMPLicius (468-483) 105 

Felix III (483-492) 107 

Gelasius (492-496) 11° 

Anastasius II (496-498) ii4 

Symmachus (498-514) ^15 

Hormisdas (514-523) ^^4 

John I (523-526) ^3^ 

Felix IV (526-530) U^ 

Boniface II (530-532) ^4° 

John II (533-535) ^^2 

Agapitus (535-536) . . H3 

Silverius (536-537) ^46 

ViGiLius (537-555) ^53 

Pelagius I (556-561) ^60 

John III (561-574) ^^3 

Benedict I (575-579) ^^^ 

Pelagius II (579-59°) • • •- ^^7 


The bishopric of Rome, favored by circumstance in many ways 
over the bishoprics of other cities, is fortunate also in this, that it 
possesses records dating almost from the age of its venerable 
foundation. The equally ancient sees of Jerusalem, Antioch and 
Alexandria have no memorials earlier than the catalogues of bishops 
which were set down by the historian Eusebius in the fourth cen- 
tury. Constantinople can trace its episcopal line no further back 
than the seventh century. On the other hand, Rome, for a variety 
of reasons which are still matters of controversy, was regarded 
as a peculiarly faithful custodian of apostolic tradition ; the 
sequence of its bishops from Peter, the apostle, was cited even as 
early as the second century as guarantee of its claim to transmit 
the pure doctrine unalloyed. The episcopal lists of the second 
century were repeated and continued in succeeding centuries, the 
later records being expanded and enlarged, until in the sixth or 
seventh century the Liber Pontificalis, the first historical narra- 
tive or series of papal biographies, was compiled by a member of 
the papal court. Later yet every pope had his official annalist, 
who carried on the Liber Pontificalis, adding a new biography at 
the death of the pontiff. The chronicle was often bare and per- 
functory, was now and then omitted altogether for long periods at 
a time, but was not finally abandoned until the age of Martin V 
in the fifteenth century. 

Throughout the Middle Ages and until comparatively modern 
times the Liber Pontificalis was accepted as not only the oldest but 
as also the most authentic existing history of the papacy. Ex- 
tracts from it were incorporated into church liturgies. It was 
quoted as an authority by countless historians and ecclesiastical 



writers from the eighth century to the eighteenth. It served as 
model for other chronicles, both secular and religious, in particular 
for the Gesta Episcoporum and the Gesta Abbatum, the records 
which were kept in cathedral chapters and monasteries of Western 
Europe during the later Middle Ages. Because of its unmistakable 
antiquity and because of the profound importance of its subject 
matter it was reckoned as a source of unimpeachable veracity and 
as one of the indisputable proofs of the primitive power and activity 
of the popes. 

Modern scholarship, however, in the persons of Lipsius, Light- 
foot, Waitz, Duchesne, Mommsen, and others, has laid its unscru- 
pulous hands on this Liber Pontificalis, analyzed it and separated 
it into two parts, each differing from the other in origin and his- 
torical value. The latter portion, from the seventh century down- 
ward, is, as we have already indicated, simply the annals of the 
papal court, written up from time to time by the papal biographer. 
The narrative may be biassed or inaccurate, but it recounts events 
of which the narrator had for the most part some personal knowl- 
edge, from which he was in no case very far distant, and as such 
deserves considerable credence. It is, in fact, one of the few sur- 
viving sources for the turbulent centuries that followed the death 
of Gregory I. It presents no unusual problems beyond those 
offered by any history treating of an age so alien to our own. 

The earlier portion, covering the era from St. Peter to the 
seventh century, and compiled first toward the end of that era, is 
of different quality. Although still admitted to be the oldest of all 
local church histories, based upon records earlier yet and of un- 
doubted genuineness, it is itself a mesh of veritable fact, romantic 
legend, deliberate fabrication and heedless error. It deals with 
persons and things which seemed often almost as remote to the 
author as they do to us and of which he had only the scantiest and 
most fragmentary accounts ; it describes achievements which he 
had little means of estimating justly and which he had sometimes 
the strongest motive to exaggerate or misrepresent. One can, 
therefore, observe in this single document a blending of most 
of the processes by which a history may be constructed, the use of 
sober, reliable, sometimes first-hand reports of events and again of 
marvelous legends, the creations of generations of enthusiasm and 


piety, the intentional manufacture of data for a definite purpose, 
the distortion of other data through prejudice or ignorance. This 
portion of the Liber Pontificalis is often fraudulent, often partisan, 
often naively devout and credulous. Yet the very frauds and un- 
corroborated assertions and mistakes and venerations have a value 
to us of a sort. It is interesting to know what could be believed 
about some of these matters in the sixth or seventh century. At 
bottom there is the residue of substantiated fact and credible tra- 
dition which continue to make even this part of the Liber Pontifi- 
cahs indispensable, if not for the study of the policies of the imme- 
diate successors of Peter, yet for the history and archaeology of 
Rome and the church in the earliest Middle Ages. 

The translation which follows gives the text of this first portion ^ 
from the beginning to the Kfe of Gregory the Great, with the 
omission toward the last of some formulae and lists of church 
appurtenances which seem to possess only an archaeological worth 
or interest. In order to make clearer the peculiar, heterogeneous 
character of our text, we may here consider more in detail the 
elements of which it was composed : first, the ancient, papal 
chronologies which preceded it and upon which it was based ; sec- 
ond, the supplementary material with which the unknown author 
filled out the bare skeleton of names and dates furnished him by 
the chronologies and which distinguished his work from them. 

The oldest papal lists of which we hear anything were written 
down, as we have already said, in the second century. About 
150 A.D. Hegesippus, a Christian from Syria, perplexed by the 
fine-spun Gnostic theories of the nature and mission of Christ which 
were winning acceptance in the East, visited Rome and drew up 
a list of the Roman bishops to his own day in order to satisfy him- 
self and his countrymen of the validity of the Roman form of 
doctrine. His list contained, perhaps, not only the names of the 
bishops but also the duration in years of each pontificate. Oral 
tradition would still be reasonably exact for the years since 100 a.d. ; 
for the bishops who came before it would be able to supply the 
names and a rough calculation as to the length of their terms. 
Unhappily Hegesippus' list has not been preserved in its original 

' On the termination of the first recension see pp. xxi and xxii, and notes to 
Vigilius below. 


form: Eusebius, in his Church History, quotes from Hegesippus' 
writings his account of the visit to Rome and the securing of the 
list, but not the Hst itself, and the writings have perished. The list 
was used, however, by later chroniclers, Eusebius among them. 

Twenty-five or thirty years afterwards, during the persecution 
of Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus came from Lyons to Rome and while 
there compiled another list of the Roman succession as far as Eleu- 
therius, who was then in office. Iren£eus was anxious to reconcile 
the warring sects which menaced the life of the church from within 
more seriously than the persecutions without. He wrote a great 
treatise, Against the Heresies, in which he exposed the fallacies 
of the heterodox and set forth systematically the whole Catholic 
scheme of the relations between God and man. To support his 
system he cited the unbroken line of the episcopate and the grace 
transmitted by the laying on of hands as well as the testimony 
of the Scriptures. Irenaeus inserted in his episcopal list a few 
facts which he had learned at Rome about the early bishops. He 
says, for instance, that Linus, the second in ofhce, was the man 
to whom St. Paul referred in his Epistle to Timothy, that Clement, 
the fourth bishop, had seen and heard both the apostles and that 
many others surviving at Rome in Clement's day had been taught 
by them. He also mentions the martyrdom of Telesphorus and, 
in another connection, the relations of Anicetus with Polycarp, 
who had known the apostle John, and the rise of heresies at Rome 
under Hyginus and Pius. The work of Irenaeus is preserved only 
in fragments in the original Greek, but one of the fragments includes 
the passage with which we are concerned. In its time it exerted 
an immense influence on the formulation of dogmatic theology in 
both East and West. 

In the third century the lists of the second century were tran- 
scribed and carried forward by at least two other hands. Hip- 
polytus, bishop of Porto, who was banished for his faith to Sar- 
dinia in company with the Roman bishop, Pontianus, and whose 
marble statue now stands in the Lateran Museum, drew up about 
235 A.D. a catalogue of the Roman succession as far as his own day. 
Hippolytus was a voluminous writer, interested not only in theology 
but also in ecclesiastical law and in chronography. He compiled 
a chronicle of the world from the creation to the year 234 a.d.. 


with tables of the Roman emperors, kings of Macedon and Jewish 
high priests, the type of many a similar work in the centuries to 
follow. It is natural that he had his hst of Roman bishops also. 
Unfortunately, although a large part of the chronicle has survived, 
the episcopal list itself, as Hippolytus prepared it, has been lost. 
It was incorporated in later lists, however, and in that way the 
substance of it has come down to us. 

Another third century list of which we hear but which has like- 
wise now disappeared in its original shape is said to have been the 
work of one Julius Africanus, a native of Palestine. This last list 
seems to have been more elaborate than any which preceded it and 
to have included the names of the emperors and consuls in office 
when the terms of the various bishoprics began and ended. The 
author probably gave these synchronisms accurately enough for 
the period with which he was acquainted and reckoned backward 
to secure the dates for the earlier age, using as a means the consular 
Fasti and the figures in the older papal fists. 

From the fourth century onward the chronologies of the popes 
come gradually into more general circulation. The papacy by 
this time was an old, estabfished institution of increasing impor- 
tance, with a history in which it might take pride. The emperors 
were leaving Rome and from their distance no longer overshadowed 
the head of the church. In fact it became customary to couple 
fists of the popes with fists of consuls and kings and other secular 
magnates. Eusebius, the historian and friend of Constantine, 
inserted lists of the Roman bishops in both his Chronicle and his 
Church History, bringing them down to the year 325. His two 
fists disagree with one another in the figures for the length of some 
of the earfier pontificates, but give precisely the same names in the 
same order. They may have been taken from two different sources. 
They show that even at that date tradition and records were uncer- 
tain as to the years but were in accord as to the men. Toward the 
close of his chronologies Eusebius added the months to the years 
of some of the pontifical terms. 

About the year 350 a cofiection of chronological and geographi- 
cal fists and tables was compiled for the convenience of Chris- 
tian residents in Rome, which must have been but one of many 
similar collections of that and later times. This particular collec- 


tion has chanced to come down to us almost entire, and gives us a 
curious glimpse into the range of interests of the persons for whom 
it was written, such as a World's Almanac for 1915 would give to a 
student of our age living in the year 3500. Comprised in the col- 
lection were civil and court calendars, paschal tables, lists of the 
anniversaries of the burials of popes and martyrs, a topography of 
the city of Rome divided into districts, tables of Roman emperors 
and consuls and a Ust of the popes to the time of Liberius, fuller 
and more comprehensive than any which had gone before. 

This last list has since become known as the Liberian Catalogue, 
so-called from the date of its composition, not from any connec- 
tion with Liberius himself. It gave the length of each term from 
the beginning in years, months and days, the imperial and consular 
synchronisms, in the case of some popes the date of burial or depo- 
sition, and here and there it marked an event. Under Pius, for 
example, it mentioned the writing of The Shepherd of Hermas, 
probably because of the discussion in Liberius' day over the canon- 
icity of the book. Under Pontianus, Lucius and Marcellinus it 
noted the troubles due to persecution, under Fabianus and Cornelius 
the outbreak of the Novatian schism and under Julius the five 
basilicas which he built. It committed the grave blunder of mak- 
ing two popes out of Cletus and Anencletus, different forms in dif- 
ferent earher chronologies of the same man's name. The major 
part was compounded from several of the previous lists. There is 
reason to think that Hippolytus' was one of those consulted. At 
any rate some one of these pattern Usts gave apparently the dura- 
tion of a few pontificates in days as well as in years and months 
and alluded now and then to events associated with particular 
names. The author of the Liberian Catalogue copied out these 
figures and references to events and added arbitrarily months and 
days to the years of all the terms from Peter downward in order 
to make his work appear more symmetrical. Two or three cen- 
turies later this Liberian Catalogue was transported outright into 
the Liber Pontificalis to form the groundwork for the period that 
it covered. The author of the Liber Pontificalis was content to 
take it as it stood, without troubling to go behind to any of the more 
primitive lists. Indeed he seems to have known them only through 
the medium of the Catalogue. 


Henceforth lists of the popes are found with increasing frequency 
in the literature of the day, quoted by theologians in opposition to 
the novelties of the heretics, brought down to date by chroniclers 
and historians. Optatus and Augustine cited the unbroken papal 
line, the bishops of "the unique see," as witness against the Dona- 
tists. The unknown author of a poem against Marcion invoked 
them in support of his metrical arguments on behalf of orthodoxy. 
Jerome, who translated and continued the Chronicle of Eusebius, 
carried the catalogue on to 378. Prosper of Aquitaine, who lived 
at Rome under Leo I and continued Jerome's Chronicle to 453, 
Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret, Greeks of the early fifth century, 
who undertook to supplement the Church History of Eusebius, 
all added their quota to the chronology of the popes. It is hardly 
necessary to enumerate the writers who later still reviewed the 
names of the bishops of Rome. They, of course, depended upon 
one or another of the preceding lists, and, though their dates and 
figures showed often a wide diversity, due to the carelessness or 
ignorance of copyists, they all followed some one of the forms 
already worked out. 

The nameless priest or clerk who first compiled the Liber Pontifi- 
calis took, as we have said, his papal list for the first three and one 
half centuries, with few modifications, directly from the Liberian 
Catalogue. A few supplementary data and the outline for the fol- 
lowing centuries he found in Jerome's Chronicle and the later com- 
pendiums. Into this framework of names and dates he proceeded 
to fit a large quantity of fresh material, in order to make his book 
more interesting and more instructive and to give it the character 
of a history rather than of a catalogue. This body of new material, 
which forms the distinguishing feature of the Liber Pontificalis 
as compared with the chronologies, must next be the subject of 
our attention. It has been dissected and examined of recent years 
by archaeologists like De Rossi, as well as by the historians, Du- 
chesne and Mommsen. We may summarize briefly in the succeed- 
ing two or three pages the results of their investigation. 

I, The two prefatory letters, ostensibly composed by St. Jer- 
ome and Pope Damasus, by means of which the authorship of the 
whole first part of the Liber Pontificalis is ascribed to Jerome, are 
manifest forgeries of the sixth or seventh century. Our unknown 


author invented them in the clumsy Latin of his time, hoping 
tlirough them to give prestige to his own work. The practice was 
not uncommon in his day. Tlie particular form which the letters 
took was suggested to him, no doubt, by an epistle of Jerome to 
Damasus, prefixed to the former's version of the Gospels, and by 
the correspondence which served as introduction to Jerome's 
Martyrology. Our author's acquaintance with the correspondence 
is proved by the fact that he took from one of those letters his fig- 
ures for the number of martyrs that perished in the persecution of 
Diocletian in the time of Pope Marcellinus. 

2. The names of the fathers of the popes and of their nations 
and birthplaces our author may have copied, at least for all that 
concerns the later popes, from some ecclesiastical record lost to us 
to-day. We know of no such source, but our author may have 
discovered it in some Roman archive, long since destroyed in the 
ruin of the ancient city. For the earlier popes he undoubtedly 
invented these details, in order that he might seem to possess as 
much information about them as about their successors. 

3. The comparatively circumstantial biographies of St. Peter 
and St. Clement, and the account of the debate over the date of 
Easter under Victor he took from two fourth century productions, 
the De Viris Illustribus of Jerome and Rufinus' translation of the 
apocryphal Recognitions attributed to Clement. He may also 
have drawn from the letter of Gregory I to Eulogius of Alexandria. 
Unluckily these works were all too late to have much value as 
authorities on events of the first or second century. 

4. The decrees for the organization and government of the 
church ascribed to the various bishops are practically all spurious 
until they reach the latter half of the fifth century. Our author 
evidently felt it necessary to record some achievement for every 
bishop in the whole long line, and therefore assigned to each in 
turn the institution of some ecclesiastical custom which obtained 
at the time he himself was writing. These statements have some 
worth as indicating the nature of procedure in the sixth or seventh 
century but little or none as bearing upon the earlier periods. 
Exceptions to this general rule are the decrees of Siricius and of 
Innocent I, which our author probably found in the official letters 
of those popes included in the Collection of Acts of Popes and 


Councils compiled by Dionysius Exiguus at the opening of the 
sixth century. From this same collection he derived his knowl- 
edge of the so-called Apostolic Canons, to which he refers in the 
first of his prefatory letters, and of the acts of several apocryphal 
councils, such as the Council of Sinuessa before which Marcellinus 
professed his penitence and the two Roman synods of Sylvester, 
which passed measures to enhance to an incredible degree the powers 
of the bishop. Here also he obtained his untrustworthy accounts 
of the vicissitudes of Liberius and the trial of Xystus III. He 
apparently knew the genuine Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, 
for his report of that assemblage, though badly confused, is not 
marred by actual untruth. He makes no allusion to the general 
Council of Constantinople, held in 551, though we should expect 
some mention of it if he were acquainted with its proceedings. As 
for the Council of Sinuessa, it is now certain that no such gathering 
ever took place, but it is not clear whether or not Marcellinus was 
a renegade. The tale has perhaps some ground in fact, but it may, 
on the other hand, be the fabrication of a later party that wished 
to cast discredit on the pontificate. 

5. The descriptions of persecutions and martyrdoms and of 
religious marvels, such as the discovery of the Holy Cross and the 
healing of Constantine, were culled from popular martyrologies 
and passions of the saints, almost all of which have since disap- 
peared. They were merely pious stories, simple and uncritical, 
in which the heroic and legendary elements predominated over the 
historical. Our author seems to have felt a special ardor for the 
memory of the martyrs. He has three early popes, Clement, 
Anteros and Fabianus, each make provision for the collection of 
facts regarding them and out of the thirty-one first popes he has 
twenty-three win for themselves the martyr's crown. Few of these 
statements can be accepted unless corroborated by outside testi- 

6. The notices of churches built or repaired and of gifts offered 
by prelates or princes are a conspicuous feature of the biography 
of Sylvester, and thereafter are copious and frequent. They must 
have been copied, in part at least, from records or memoranda in 
the archives of the Roman see. The curious and imposing list of 
Constantine's donations bears marks of genuineness as a document. 


although, in its present shape it is plainly corrupt in passages, iLc 
proper names being at times quite unintelligible. The donations 
enumerated in such lists are of genuine but obscure historical in- 
terest, either for the history of the Patrimony of St. Peter, if grants 
of estates, or for the history of art, if basilicas and appurtenances 
of worship. In the latter case they furnish valuable — if sometimes 
uncertain — evidence for the relation of Byzantine art to Roman in 
the early Christian period. The catalogue of Constantine's bene- 
factions is reproduced entire in the translation, also the most not- 
able items of the later lists. The student who wishes more will 
consult the original text. 

7. The lists of episcopal ordinations, set like formulae near the 
end of each biography, were also in all probability taken from 
records kept toward the close of our period in the Roman church. 
Indeed Gregory I alludes in one of his letters to such a record. 
Our author then introduced fictitious lists of ordinations into the 
early biographies in order to maintain the much desired appearance 
of uniformity and of completeness of information. All the lists, 
however, in spite of their official semblance, are so bare and brief 
and the figures in many cases are obviously so corrupt that they 
retain no value at the present day. Like the accounts of the pro- 
visions for the conduct of the church, they emphasize the part 
played by the bishop to the disparagement of that played by the 
other clergy or the laity. They show the autocratic or monarchical 
character of the Roman structure as it appeared to the eyes of its 
first historian. 

8. The notices of the dates and places of burial or deposition of 
popes and martyrs were based partly on the Liberian Catalogue 
and partly on lists of saints' anniversaries and traditions con- 
nected with certain basilicas and cemeteries. When a bishop's 
name, however, did not appear in the well-known lists of saints, 
and no tradition associated him with any particular tomb, our 
author arbitrarily supplied him with date and place of sepulture. 
The natural spot for interring the first pontiffs was the Vatican; 
afterward the catacomb of Callistus. In fact, the bishops Anicetus 
and Soter are assigned in one text to the cemetery of Calhstus some 
years before Callistus constructed it. 

Having herewith baldly sketched the antecedents and sources 


of the Liber Pontificalis, we must add a few words on the vexed 
problem of the period of composition, the date when our anony- 
mous cleric set about piecing it together out of its miscellaneous 
elements. It is a problem upon which the most erudite authori- 
ties still disagree and which we can do hardly more than state in 
abbreviated form, the arguments on either side being too lengthy 
and technical to reproduce here. They are rendered especially 
comphcated by the fact of the variety and number of texts of the 
Liber Pontificalis and by the difficulty of determining which text 
represents the archetype or original draft of the work. As it hap- 
pens, it has come down to us not only in three different versions 
of the full text but also in two abridgments or epitomes. It is 
now generally conceded that all forms of the complete text, in the 
shape that we have them, are products of the seventh century. 
The earhest recension or edition dates back perhaps to the first 
quarter of the century, not long after the death of Gregory I. 
Forty or fifty years later it was rewritten in a slightly more expan- 
sive style and brought down to include the popes who had held 
oflfice since the first recension was finished. Shortly afterward a 
third or composite version was constructed by a combination of 
the two previous recensions, wherein some passages were borrowed 
from the first and some from the second. Thenceforward no further 
alterations were made in the biographies of the seven first centuries. 
One or other of the three recensions was copied by later writers 
with the additions necessary to carry on the narrative to date. 

The question still in dispute is the age of the two epitomes. 
The first or FeUcian Epitome, as it is called, breaks off with the 
pontificate of Felix IV, 530 a.d. Certain scholars of great learn- 
ing and distinction, such as Lipsius, Lightfoot and Duchesne, hold 
that this epitome is a summary of an early text of the Liber Pon- 
tificahs which concluded at that point and was in fact composed 
soon after Felix' death ; or, in other words, that the original text 
was about a century older than any full text which we possess at 
the present day and that our author lived and wrote toward the 
end of Theodoric's reign instead of under Heraclius. The second 
or Cononian Epitome, which closely resembles the Felician but 
continues on to the time of Pope Conon, 687 a.d., is also in the 
opinion of these same scholars a resume of the first text, supple- 


merited by an abridgment of the latter part of one of the seventh 
century recensions. To illustrate this theory we may mention 
one or two of the simpler arguments. Duchesne contends that 
these epitomes show variations from the language of the seventh 
century versions that indicate their derivation from a different 
and older prototype, that the biographies of the popes of the period 
of Theodoric are written in a vivid and personal style as if by a 
contemporary and that Gregory of Tours, who died in 594, alludes 
in his history to a version of the Liber Pontificalis current in his 

On the other hand, Waitz and Mommsen, scholars no less 
learned and distinguished, maintain that the two epitomes, in spite 
of their occasional divergences from the seventh century phrase- 
ology, are nevertheless founded upon the seventh century text and 
that, in consequence, the Liber Pontificalis itself is no older than 
the earliest of the recensions, that is, than the period of the disturb- 
ances after the death of Gregory I. They insist that the differ- 
ences in language between the two epitomes and the full seventh 
century versions are not important enough to require a different 
source for the epitomes, that the increase in vivacity and in mi- 
nuteness of description noticeable in the biographies of the age of 
Theodoric may be explained by the use on the part of the seventh 
century author of a sixth century chronicle since lost, and that 
passages in these same biographies contain mistakes and misunder- 
standings impossible to a contemporary. They pronounce the 
quotation from Gregory of Tours too vague and indecisive to be 
accepted as proof of his acquaintance with the Liber Pontificalis. 
Other writers of the age, men like Isidore of Seville and Pope Greg- 
ory himself, more deeply versed in Roman affairs than the Gallic 
Gregory could be, would inevitably have referred to the Liber 
Pontificalis if it had been in existence in their day. But, as we have 
said before, the arguments on either side of this controversy are 
far too elaborate to rehearse adequately here. Something more of 
them will be found in the notes appended to the text. 

The following translation is based upon the text edited by 
Mommsen in the Monumenta GermanicB Historica. He gives the 
full seventh century version with the variations between the three 
recensions or between them and either or both of the epitomes 


printed in parallel columns. Mere differences in individual manu- 
scripts, caused by the errors or interpolations of copyists, he enu- 
merates in his footnotes. I have preserved his method of setting 
the various readings of different classes of texts in parallel columns 
so that the extent of the variations might be easily seen, but have 
for the most part made no attempt to indicate, as he does, by a 
system of letters and numbers the text to which each reading be- 
longs nor to convey an idea of the idiosyncrasies of single manu- 
scripts. For a close study of the separate texts the reader must 
consult Mommsen himself. 

The magnitude of Mommsen's undertaking may be better 
appreciated by noting in passing the age, number and location of 
the manuscripts which he thought essential to collate in preparing 
his edition. His text of the Felician Epitome he derived from three 
manuscripts, the oldest of which dates from the eighth century and 
is now in Paris, the other two being at Berne and Rome. The 
Cononian Epitome he found in two manuscripts, both of the ninth 
century, one in Paris and one in Verona. The first recension of 
the full seventh century text he obtained from nineteen manu- 
scripts, the oldest of which belongs to the eighth century and is 
now in the Library at Lucca, the others are scattered in Paris, 
Rome, Florence, Milan and elsewhere. The second recension he 
took from twenty manuscripts, the oldest now in Naples, dating 
from the close of the seventh century, the remainder in Leyden, 
Cologne, Paris, Brussels, Treves and other places. The third or 
composite text he based upon eleven manuscripts. The earliest, 
now at Modena, goes back to the end of the seventh or the open- 
ing of the eighth century, but it consists only of excerpts. The 
oldest copy of the entire text is in the Vatican and dates from the 
tenth century. 

For fuller discussions of the numerous, interesting topics con- 
nected with the Liber Pontificalis, its origin, character, and value, 
the student who wishes to pursue his investigations further is 
referred first of all to the voluminous and exhaustive introduc- 
tions and notes attached to Duchesne's edition of the text, pub- 
lished a few years earlier than Mommsen's; also to Mommsen's 
briefer Prolegomena to his own edition, Lightfoot's volume on 
St. Clement of Rome in the series entitled The Apostolic Fathers, 


and Waitz' articles on the subject in the Neues Archiv, especially 
volumes IV, IX, X, and XL A convenient summary of some 
of the researches of the greater scholars is afforded by Rosenfeld's 
monograph, Uber die Composition des Liber Pontijicalis biz zu 
Constantin. From these authorities and the others quoted from time 
to time in the text I have gathered my statements in this intro- 
duction and much of the material in my notes. In fact, without 
the guidance of Duchesne, I should often have been at a loss 
how to elucidate the text, my own notes being in many cases 
scarcely more than abridgments or paraphrases of his. The refer- 
ences in the notes are, for the most part, to these same works, 
the indispensable apparatus for any serious study of the Liber 
Pontificalis, to the Latin and Greek sources in English trans- 
lation, whenever such translations exist, otherwise in the original, 
and finally to English books, accessible to most readers and likely 
to prove helpful for a general understanding of the subjects treated 

in the text. 

L. R. L. 







Jerome to the most blessed pope Damasus : ^ 

We humbly beseech thy glorious holiness that as the apostolic 
see, which we understand is ruled by thy holiness,^ ... we bend 
in supplication and entreat that thou deign to impart to us in order 
the record of the deeds done in thy see from the principate of blessed 
Peter, the apostle, even to thine own day ; that thus we may humbly 
ascertain which of the bishops of the aforesaid see attained the 
crown of martyrdom and which are judged to have transgressed 
the canons of the apostles.^ Pray for us, most blessed pope. 
Given April 27. Received at Rome. 

Damasus, bishop of the city of Rome, to Jerome. 

The church rejoices already, drinking with satisfaction at thy 
fountain, and the thirst grows ever keener among its priests to hear 
of the past, in order that what is right may be recognized and what 
is wrong rejected. So all the record which the zeal of our see has 
been able to discover we send with gladness to thee, beloved. 
Pray for us unto the holy resurrection, brother and fellowpriest. 
Farewell in Christ, our God and Lord. Given May 23. Re- 
ceived September 26. Sent from Rome to Jerusalem. 

' These letters are obvious forgeries, designed to give the authority of two great 
names to the ensuing narrative. The author is even naive enough to attribute to 
Damasus and Jerome a history which covers a century or two beyond their time. See 
Introduction, pp. vii and viii. 

2 Some words are lost here. Traube suggests a reading: "that thou wouldest 
assist us by the authority vested in the apostolic see, which we understand, " etc. 
Mommsen, Liber Pontificalis, p. i. 

^ The collection of canons translated into Latin by Dionysius Exiguus at the be- 
ginning of the sixth century. Cf. Hefele, Histoire des Conciles, I, pp. 1203-1221 
(H. Leclercq). 



I. Peter 

Blessed Peter/ the Antiochene, 
son of John, of the province 
of GaHlee and the town of 
Bethsaida, brother of Andrew 
and chief of the apostles, 

Blessed Peter, the apostle, and 
chief of the apostles, the Antio- 
chene, son of John, of the 
province of Galilee and the 
town of Bethsaida, brother of 

first occupied the seat of the bishop in Anthiocia ^ for 7 years. 
This Peter entered the city of Rome when Nero was Caesar and 
there occupied the seat of the bishop for 25 years, 
I month and 8 days. | 2 months and 3 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Tiberius Caesar and of Gaius and 
of Tiberius Claudius and of Nero.^ 

He wrote two epistles which are called catholic, and the gospel 
of Mark, for Mark was his disciple and son by baptism ; afterwards 
the whole source of the four gospels, which were confirmed by 
inquiring of him, that is Peter, and obtaining his testimony; 
although one gospel is couched in Greek, another in Hebrew, an- 
other in Latin, yet by his testimony were they all confirmed.^ 

» As explained above in the Introduciion (p. xii), when different versions of the 
narrative are found in the different epitomes or recensions of the Liber Pontificalis, 
the readings are set down, as here, in parallel columns, the older text being given first. 
Llost of the following story of the life of the apostle is taken by the author of the 
lib. Pont, from Jerome's De Viris Illustribus, c. i (ed. Richardson, pp. 6 and 7 ; Texte 
rnd Untersuchimgenzur Gesch. der allchristlkhen LUeratur, vol. XIV). An excellent 
liLtle hand book to consult for information on Jerome and the other church fathers 
who will be cited in the course of our text and notes is Bardenhewer's Patrology, trans- 
lated by Strahan. 

^Antioch, the ancient Antiochia. Corrupt or peculiar forms of proper names 
in the Latin text will be reproduced in the translation. 

3 Our author gives two incompatible traditions, the first that Peter did not come 
to Rome before the reign of Nero {cf. the late second century Acta Petri et Pauli in 
Tischendorf , Acta A postolorum Apocrypha, p. i , etc.) , the second that after a pontificate 
of twenty-five years at Rome he was put to death under Nero. The latter is Jerome's 
version. The reader may find a discussion of the Petrine problem, with many further 
references, in the volume of this series devoted to the history of the Papacy. 

« Duchesne suggests that the idea that the four gospels all issued from a single 
source was derived from the apsidal mosaics of fifth and sixth century churches 
which represented the four rivers of paradise all flowing out from one head. Lib. 
Pont., vol. I, p. 119) n- 7- 


He ordained two bishops, Linus and Cletus, who in person ful- 
filled all the service of the priest in the city of Rome for the inhabit- 
ants and for strangers ; then the blessed Peter gave himself to prayer 
and preaching, instructing the people.^ 

He disputed many times with Simon Magus both before Nero, 
the emperor, and before the people, since by magic arts and trickery 
Simon was drawing away those whom the blessed Peter was gather- 
ing into the faith of Christ. And while they debated once at great 
length Simon was struck dead by the will of God. 

He consecrated blessed Clement as bishop and committed to 
him the government of the see and all the church, saying: ^ "As 
unto me was delivered by my Lord Jesus Christ the power to gov- 
ern and to bind and loose, so also I commit it unto thee, that thou 
mayest ordain stewards over divers matters who will carry onward 
the work of the church and mayest thyself not become engrossed 
with the cares of the world but mayest strive to give thyself solely 
to prayer and preaching to the people." 

After he had thus disposed affairs he received the crown of martyr- 
dom with Paul in the year 38 after the Lord's passion.^ 

He was buried also on the Via AureUa, in the shrine of Apollo, 
near the place where he was crucified, near the palace of Nero, in 
the Vatican,^ near the triumphal district,^ on June 29. 

1 Rufinus, Preface to the apocryphal Clementine Recognitions; cf. infra, p. 7, n. 4. 

2 This passage is taken from the apocryphal Epistle of Clement to James, c. 2 and 5 ; 
prefixed to the Recognitions. Cf. infra, p. 8, n. 2. 

3 Our author follows here the Paschal tables of the fifth century, according to which 
Christ was crucified in the year 29. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 119, n. 12. Eusebius' 
Chronicle says that Peter and Paul died in the thirteenth year of Nero's reign, the 
2iith Olympiad, the year 2083 of the Jewish calendar, which would correspond to 
our year 67 a.d. The persecution of Nero, however, took place in 64 a.d. The 
earliest passage that may be construed as a reference to the martyrdom of the two 
apostles at Rome occurs in the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, written prob- 
ably about 90-100 A.D. It is translated in the Locb Classical Library, Apostolic Fathers, 
vol. I. p. 17. Cf. also Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, Part I, for text and discussion. 

^ Vaticanus was the ancient name of the hill forming the prolongation of the Ja- 
niculum toward the north, and the Campus orAger Vaticanus was the space between 
the foot of the hill and the Janiculum and the Tiber. Here the word is used to denote 
this low region stretching back from the river. 

5 Jerome says, "near the Via TriumphaHs." The tomb of Peter, now covered by 
the crypt of the modem basilica, was situated between the Via Aurelia and the Via Tri- 
umphaHs, on the outskirts of the circus of Nero, near a temple of Cybele, which through 


He held three ordinations, 7 
deacons, 10 priests, 3 bishops,^ 
in the month of December. 

He held ordinations in the 
month of December, 3 bishops, 
10 priests, 7 deacons.^ 

II. Linus 

Linus, by nationality an Italian, from the province of Tuscany, 
son of Herculanus, occupied the see 11 years, 3 months and 12 days. 
He was bishop in the time of Nero from the consulship of Saturni- 
nus and Scipio (a.d. 56) until the year when Capito and Rufus were 
consuls (a.d. 67). 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He, by direction of the blessed Peter, decreed that a woman 
must veil her head to come into the church.^ 

He held two ordinations, 15 bishops, 18 priests. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican ^ about September 24. 

a popular error was later called a temple of Apollo. Cf . Grisar, Rome and the Popes in 
the Middle Ages, T, pp. 277 ff. ; C. Erbes, Die Todeslage der Apostel Paidus und Petrus 
und ihre Romischcn Denktndlcr, in Textc und Unlersuchiingen, Neue Folge, IV. 

1 The three bishops were evidently Linus, Cletus and Clement. The number 
seven was attached to the deacons in order to ascribe to Peter the institution of the 
seven Roman deacons. Sozomen, the Greek historian, writing in the middle of the 
fifth century, mentions the curious fact that the Roman church never had more than 
seven deacons, a number which they considered sanctioned by the apostles. Ecclesias- 
tical History, VII, c. 19; Eng. tr. in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, ser. 2, vol. II. 

2 One manuscript adds the following. "He -first ordained the celebration of the 
mass to commemorate the Lord's passion, with bread and wine mixed with water and 
the Lord's prayer repeated alone and the sanctifying of the holy cross, a rite which the 
other holy apostles imitated for this celebration." The earliest detailed account of a 
Christian service is in Justin Martyr's First Apology, written for presentation to 
Antoninus Pius. It is translated in Cresswell, Liturgy of the Apostolic Constitutions, 
Early Church Classics Series. 

' Linus is represented as associated with and acting under the direction of Peter. 
The ordinance may have been suggested by / Corinthians, xi. 5. 

* A corruption, of course, for Vatican. In the seventeenth century some workmen 
digging near the tomb of Peter in the crypt of the present cathedral unearthed several 
ancient sarcophagi, one bearing an inscription in which the name Linus was thought 
to be decipherable. There were, however, no scholars at hand competent to verify 
the reading, the sarcophagus was not preserved where it could be studied, and De Rossi, 
the Italian authority on Christian epigraphy, is inclined to doubt the correctness of the 
report. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 121, n. 3. Grisar, I, p. 279. 


III. Cletus 

Cletus, by nationality a Roman, from the precinct Vicus Patri- 
cius,^ son of Emilianus, occupied the see 

7 years, i month and 20 days. | 12 years, i month and 11 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Vespasian and Titus from 

of Domitian | 

the 7th consulship of Vespasian and the 5th of Domitian (a.d. 77) 
until the year when Domitian was consul for the 9th time and 
Rufus was consul with him (a.d. 83). 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He, by direction of the blessed Peter, ordained 25 priests ^ in 
the city of Rome 

in the month of December. | 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, April 26. 

And the bishopric was empty 20 days. 

IV. Clement I 

Clement, by nationality a Roman, from the district of the Celian 
Hill,^ son of Faustinus, occupied the see 9 years, 2 months and 10 
days. He was bishop in the time of Galba and Vespasian from the 
consulship of Tragalus and Italicus (a.d. 68) until the year when 
Vespasian was consul for the 9th time and Titus was consul with 
him (a.d. 79). He wrote many books in his zeal for the faith of 
the Christian religion ^ and was crowned with martyrdom. 

^ Near the modern Via Urbana, a region extending from the Viminal to the Esquiline. 

2 The number twenty-five was apparently chosen here in order to give apostolic 
sanction to the twenty-five titular or parish churches which existed in Rome at the 
close of the fifth century. Cf. infra, p. 38 and n. 3. On the actual slow development 
of the ecclesiastical organization see Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I, ch. vi. 

^ The author probably deduced the location of Clement's house from the situation 
of the church of San Clemente which stands between the Caelian and the Esquiline. 

* The author may have in mind the ten books of the apocryphal Recognitions 
attributed to Clement and translated from Greek into Latin by Rufinus. The original 
Greek text has since been lost. Text by P. de Lagarde supersedes that of Migne, 
Pat. Gr., vol. I. Translation, Ante Nicene Fathers, VITI. 


He created 7 districts and assigned them to faithful notaries of 
the church that they might make diligent, careful and searching 
inquiry, each in his own district, regarding the acts of the martyrs.^ 
He composed two epistles which are called catholic. 

He, by direction of the blessed Peter, undertook the pontifical 
office of governing the church, even as Peter received the seat of 
authority from the Lord Jesus Christ; moreover in the epistle 
which he wrote to James ^ thou mayest learn in what manner the 
church was entrusted to him by the blessed Peter. Therefore 
Linus and Cletus are recorded before him for the reason that they 
were ordained bishops also by the chief of the apostles to perform 
the priestly ministry. 

He held two ordinations in the month of December, 10 priests, 
2 deacons and 15 bishops in divers places.^ 

He died a martyr 

in the third year of Trajan.'' | in the third Trajan. 

He also was buried in Greece,^ November 24. 
And the bishopric was empty 21 days. 

1 It seems far more likely that the seven ecclesiastical districts of Rome were 
the creation of Pope Fabianus in the third century. Our author is obviously anxious 
to give an early origin and a dignified function to the church notaries, a body to which 
he possibly belonged. Cf. infra, pp. 10, n. 3 and 24. 

2 This epistle was translated by Rufinus and early became prefixed to the pseudo- 
Clementine Recognitions just mentioned. In the Greek it is prefixed to the pseudo- 
Clementine Hmnilics. There is no reference here to the one authentic letter of Clement 
still preserved, written to the church of Corinth. Lightfoot, St. Clement of Rome; Locb 
Classical Library, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. I. 

3 I.e. the priests and deacons were to serve in the city churches, the bishops in 
the dioceses about the city. 

^Jerome also gives this as the date of Clement's death. De Viris lUustribiis, 
c. XV ; ed. Richardson, p. 17. A fragment of an inscription of the end of the fourth 
century has been discovered in the church of San Clemente, which was built over the 
site of Clement's own house. In this inscription the word MARTYR apparently 
foUows the name of Clement. 

5 An allusion to the legend of the St. Clement, who was said to have been drowned 
in the Black Sea, and who became in time identified with Pope Clement of Rome. 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. xci. 


V. Anencletus 

Aneclitus,^ by nationality a Greek from Athens, son of Anthio- 
cus, occupied the see 

12 years, 10 months and 7 days. | 9 years, 2 months and 10 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Domitian from the loth consulship 
of Domitian when Savinus was his colleague (a.d. 84) until the 
year when Domitian was consul for the 17th time and Clement was 
consul with him (a.d. 95). 

He built and adorned the sepulchral monument ^ of the blessed 
Peter, forasmuch as he had been made priest by the blessed Peter, 
and other places of sepulchre for the burial of bishops. There he him- 
self likewise was buried near the body of the blessed Peter, July 13. 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 5 priests, 3 
deacons, 6 bishops in divers places. 

And the bishopric was empty 13 days. 


Euvaristus, by nationality a Greek 

of Antioch, | 

son of a Jew named Judah, from the city of Bethlehem, occupied 
the see 

13 years, 7 months and 2 days. | 9 years, 10 months and 2 days. 

^ The fifth bishop of Rome was not Anencletus but Evaristus, who here comes 
sixth. Anencletus and Cletus were two forms of the same name, and in the earliest 
lists the bishop ordained by Peter was called by either one form or the other. The 
compiler of the Liherian Catalogue, however, took the two forms for the names of two 
different men and inserted them both into his list. The author of the Lib. Pont. 
followed the Liherian Catalogue. For full explanation see Lightfoot, Clement of Rome 
{The Apostolic Fathers), vol. I, p. 201 et seq. 

^ Le. the tomb. The second century Acta Petri et Pauli (Tischendorf, Acta Apos- 
tolorum Apocrypha, p. 38) says that the bodies of the apostles were laid in a place out- 
side the city for one year and seven months until their sepulchres were prepared for 
them. These eariiest tombs were small and inconspicuous and stood close among 
pagan tombs in the same localities. In fact, remains of pagan tombs or columbaria 
have been found so near to the resting places of both apostles as to be disturbed when 
foundations were being laid for the heavy bronze baldachinos which cover the h?gh 
altars in both of the modern basilicas. The shrine of Peter was only large enough to 


He was bishop in the time of Domitian and Nerva and Trajan, 
from the consulship of Valens and Vetus (a.d. 96) until the year 
when Gallus and Bradua were consuls (a.d. 108). 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He divided the parish churches in the city of Rome among the 
priests/ and ordained 7 deacons to keep watch over the bishop 
when he spoke, for the sake of the word of truth.^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 17 priests, 
2 deacons, 15 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, October 27. 

And the bishopric was empty 19 days. 

Vn. Alexander 

Alexander, by nationality a Roman, son of Alexander, from the 
region of Caput Tauri,^ occupied the see 10 years, 7 months and 
2 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Trajan until the year when Helianus 
and Vetus were consuls (a.d. 116). 

He introduced the passion of the Lord into the words of the 
priest at the celebration of mass.^ 

contain niches or places for his immediate successors. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, 
p. 125, n. 2, and p. civ. 

1 Cletus is said to have ordained twenty-five priests to serve in the city, Evaristus 
to have assigned them their churches. CJ. supra, p. 7, and infra, p. 38, n. 2. 

''Among the canons of the apocryphal council of Sylvester {cf. infra, p. 45, n. i) 
is the following, which sheds some light on the passage here: "There shall be seven 
deacons to watch over the officiating bishop for the sake of the word of truth and 
catholic dogma and the wisdom of age, lest in speaking we say Father in place of Son or 
Holy Spirit in place of Father." Mommsen, Lib. Pont., p. 9. On the institution of 
the seven Roman deacons see supra, p. 6, n. i. 

^ Cf. Lanciani, Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome, p. 404. The district is 
mentioned again in the Lib. Pont, as the home of Anastasius II, and is said to be in the 
Fifth Region, which, if the reference be to the regions of Augustus, comprised a large 
part of the Esquiline Hill along the city wall. Cf. infra, p. 114. The boundaries of the 
seven ecclesiastical divisions, said to have been created by Fabianus {Infra, p. 24), are 
for the most part unknown. For an account of both civil and ecclesiastical divisions 
see Duchesne, Melanges d'Archeologic et d'Histoire, vol. I, p. 126, Gregorovius, History 
of Rome in the Middle Ages, trans. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 80-82. The latter gives 
the conjectural outlines of Fabianus' regions. 

* Le. Alexander introduced the passage beginning, "Qui pridie," into the liturgy 


He was crowned with martyrdom and Eventius, the priest, and 
Theodulus, the deacon, were crowned together with him. 

He appointed the blessing of the water of sprinkUng and of salt 
in the dwellings of the people.^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 6 priests, 2 
deacons, 5 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried on the Via Nomentana, where he was 
beheaded,- not more than 7 miles from the city of Rome, 
May 3. 

And the bishopric was empty 35 days. 

VIII. Xystus I 

Xystus, by nationahty a Roman, son of Pastor, from the district 
of the Via Lata, occupied the see 10 years, 

3 months and 21 days. | 2 months and i day. 

He was bishop in the time of x\drian, until the year when Veru5> 
and Anniculus were consuls (a.d. 126).^ 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He ordained that consecrated vessels should not be touched 
except by the ministering clergy.'* 

He ordained that no bishop who had been summoned to the 

Roman | 

apostoHc see should be received upon his return to his parish, 

This, like all accounts of early papal decrees, is of course fabrication, an attempt to 
assign a definite, primitive origin to the order prevaiHng in the sixth century. 

1 An allusion to the custom of blessing private houses with a sprinkling of water 
and of blessing the salt which the owner offers. 

2 The "tomb of Alexander" is mentioned in an itinerary attributed to WiUiam of 
Malmesbury. The site of it, near the Via Nomentana, was rediscovered in 1855. 
But it is probable that there were two Alexanders and that the martyr has been er- 
roneously identified with the pope. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. xci et seq. 

3 The Liberian Catalogue {cf. Introduction, p. vi) gives the consular reckoning more 
exactly; viz. "from the consulship of Niger and Apronianus (a.d. 117) to the 3rd con- 
sulship of Verus when Ambibulus was consul with him (a.d. 126)." The text of the 
Catalogue is printed in Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. 2-9; also in Lightfoot's 
Clement of Rome, pp. 253-258. 

* One of several decrees ascribed to these first popes emphasizing the sacredness 
of altar vessels and hangings. Cf. infra, pp. 16 and 91. 



unless he brought with him the unless he brought with him 
"formata" of general greeting the letter of general greeting 
from the apostolic see.^ from the apostolic see, which 

is the ''formata." 
He ordained that at the be- 
ginning of mass the priest should 
chant to the people the hymn, 
"Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, 
dominus deus Sabaoth," etc,^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 11 priests, 4 
deacons, 4 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, April 3. 

And the bishopric was empty 2 months. 

IX. Telesphorus 

Telesphorus, by nationality a Greek, previously an anchorite, 
occupied the see 11 years, 3 months and 21 days. He was bishop 
in the time of Antoninus and Marcus.^ 

He ordained that the fast of seven weeks should be kept before 

He was crowned with mar- 

He appointed that at the sea- 
son of the nativity of our Lord 
Jesus Christ 

and that at the season of the 
Lord's nativity 

1 This seems to be a garbled form of an edict recorded in the acts of the spurious 
Council of Sylvester {supra, p. ix, infra, p. 45, n. i), which required each bishop to take 
home with him a written report of the decisions of the council, so that they might 
be accurately known to the people. The ordinance as it stands in our text is unintel- 
ligible. Duchesne, op. cil., p. 128, n. 4. 

"The "Sanctus," like the "Sursum corda" and the opening words of the preface, 
"Vere dignum, " etc., are included in every hturgy that has come down to us. They 
were perhaps in use even as early as Xystus. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 128, n. 5. 

^ The Liberian Catalogue gives the consulships omitted here; viz. "from the 
consulship of Titianus and Gallicanus (a.d. 127) until the year when Caesar and Bal- 
binus were consuls (a.d. 137)." 

* The fast before Easter was observed before the pontificate of Telesphorus. It is 


masses should be celebrated during the night ; ^ for in general no 
one presumed to celebrate mass before tierce, the hour when our 
Lord ascended the cross ; 

and that at the opening of the 

and that before the sacrifice 

the angelic hymn should be repeated, namely, ''Gloria in excelsis 

etc., but only upon the night 
of the Lord's nativity .^ 

He was crowned with martyr- 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, January 2. 

He held 4 ordinations in the month of December, 12 priests, 8 
deacons and 13 bishops in divers places. 

And the bishopric was empty 7 days. 

X. Hyginus 

Yginus, by nationality a Greek, previously a philosopher of 
Athens, whose ancestry I have not been able to ascertain, occupied 
the see 

10 years, 3 months and 7 days. | 4 years, 3 months and 4 days. 

described by Irenaeus a few years later as a custom of the ancestors, dating back 
nearly to apostolic times. The length, however, was at first variable. See the interest- 
ing discussion in 'Eusehius' Church History, Ub. V, c. 24, trans. McGiffert, Nicene and Post 
Nicene Fathers, ser. II, vol. I, p. 243. Mommsen cites the passage here as an indica- 
tion that the Lib. Pont, was not compiled until the seventh century. He points out 
that under Leo I, Gelasius and Gregory I the Lenten fast lasted only six weeks and that 
therefore our author must have written after the death of Gregory. Lib. Pont., p. xvii. 
Cf. Introduction, p. xii. 

1 The night mass at Christmas is still a feature of the Roman ritual. The author 
of the Lib. Pont, is the earliest writer to allude to it. It can hardly have been instituted 
before the date of the Nativity was fixed during the fourth century. 

^ Pope Symmachus introduced the angelic hymn into all masses celebrated on 
Sundays or feast days. Cf. infra, p. 123. The institution applied, however, only to 
papal masses. The priests in Rome were forbidden to chant the "Gloria," except at 
Easter, as late as the eleventh century. In the early Galilean ritual the "Benedictus" 
was sung at the opening of mass instead of the "Gloria." Duchesne, Lib. Pont,, 
vol. I, p. 130, n. 5. Atchley, Ordo Romanus Primus, pp. 71-72. 


He was bishop in the time of Verus and Marcus, from the consul- 
ship of Magnus and Camerinus (a.d. 138) until the year when 
Orfitus and 

Camerinus were consuls. | Priscus were consuls (a.d. 149). 

He set in order the clergy and distributed ranks.^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 15 priests, 
5 deacons, 6 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, January 11. 

And the bishopric was empty 3 days. 

XI. Pius I 

Pius, by nationality an Itahan, son of Rufinus, brother of the 
shepherd,^ from the city of Aquilegia,^ occupied the see 19 years, 
4 months 

and 21 days. | and 3 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Antoninus Pius, from the consulship 
of Clarus and Severus (a.d. 146).^ 
While he was bishop, 

his brother I 

Hermas wrote a book in which he set forth the commandment 
which the angel of the Lord delivered to him, coming to him in the 
garb of a shepherd and commanding him that 

1 A vague phrase. The author may merelj' intend to convey that Hyginus carried 
further the organization of the clergy into definite ranks and the assignment of special 
tasks and functions. 

2 Hermas, surnamed Pastor or Shepherd, from the title Pastor or Uol/jlt^v of his 
book. See in the text below. He was a second century writer whose treatise, which 
contained an account of a revelation from an angel, was once in such repute as to be 
read in the churches. It was composed originally in Greek but was early translated 
into Latin. Jerome says of it that in his day it was still read in the churches of Greece, 
although it had almost been forgotten among the Latins. Dc Viris Illustribus, c. x, ed. 
Richardson, p. 14. An English translation of The Shepherd of Hermas may be found 
in volume II of The Apostolic Fathers in the Loeb Classical Library. 

^ I.e. Aquileia. 

* The second pair of consuls is here omitted ; " until the year when the two Augusti 
were consuls (a.d. 161)." Liberian Catalogue. 


the holy feast of Easter | Easter 

be observed upon the Lord's day.^ 

He ordained that a heretic coming out from the heresy of the 
Jews should be received and baptised ; ^ and he made a regulation 
for the church. 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 19 priests, 
21 deacons, bishops 12 in number in divers places. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, July 11. 

And the bishopric was empty 14 days.^ 

XII. Anicetus 

Anicetus, by nationahty a Syrian, son of John, from the town of 
Humisa,^ occupied the see 
9 years, 3 months and 3 days. | 11 years, 4 months and 3 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Severus ^ and Marcus, from the 
consulship of Gallicanus and Vetus (a.d. 150) until the year when 
Prsesens and Rulinus were consuls (a.d. 153). 

He forbade the clergy to grow long hair, following thus the 
precept of the apostle.® 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 19 priests, 4 
deacons, 9 bishops in divers places. 

1 There is no mention of Easter in the book of Hernias. 

2 Duchesne cites the fact that Prudentius in his Apotheosis classes the Jews with the 
heretics. Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 132, n. 5. 

3 In manuscripts of the eleventh century the following sentences have been added 
to the life of Pius, drawn undoubtedly from the story of SS. Pudentiana andPraxedis 
{Cf. Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. IV, p. 299.) "He by request of the blessed Praxedis 
dedicated a church in the baths of Novatus in the Vicus Patricius to the honor of her 
sister, the holy Pudentiana, where also he offered many gifts and frequently he minis- 
tered, offering sacrifice to the Lord. Moreover he erected a font of baptism and with 
his own hand he blessed and dedicated it and many who gathered to the faith he 
baptised in the name of the Trinity." The church of Santa Pudenziana is mentioned 
in an epitaph of a.d. 384. For the Vicus Patricius, cf. supra, p. 7, n. i. 

^ I.e. Emesa, an important, city of northern Syria. 

5 An error for Verus.. The chronology is mistaken. The pontificate was prob- 
ably from 154-5 to 166-7. Cf. Hefele, Hist. d. Conciles, I, p. 136. 

« Jerome alludes to a prohibition of this sort. In Ezech., XLiv, 20. Quoted by 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 134, n. 3. Cf. I Corinthians, xi. 14- 


He also died a martyr and was buried 

near the body of the blessed in the cemetery of Calistus/ 
Peter in the Vatican, 

April 20. 

And the bishopric was empty 1 7 days. 


Soter, by nationality a Campanian, son of Concordius, from the 
city of Fundi, ^ occupied the see 9 years, 6 months and 21 days. 
He was bishop in the time of Severus,^ from the consulship of Rus- 
ticus and Aquilinus (a.d. 162) until the year when Cetegus and 
Clarus were consuls (a.d. 170). 

He ordained that no monk should touch the consecrated altar 
cloth or should offer incense in the holy church.^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 18 priests, 9 
deacons, 1 1 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried 

near the body of the blessed 

April 22. 

And the bishopric was empty 2 1 days 

in the cemetery of Calistus on 
the Via Appia,^ 

XIV. Eleutherius 

Eleuther, by nationality a Greek, son of Habundius, from the 
town of Nicopolis,® occupied the see 15 years, 3 months and 2 days. 

1 This cemetery, if in existence at the time, was certainly not known by the name 
of Callistus, who was the fifth pope after Anicetus. C/. infra, p, 21. The reading in 
the first column is probably the correct one. 

"^ The modern Fondi. 

' This should be Verus. 

^ Several manuscripts read "no nun" instead of "no monk." They are perhaps 
influenced by the passage m the life of Pope Boniface I. "Boniface decreed that no 
woman or nun should touch the consecrated altar cloth." Infra, p. 91. The author 
of the Lib. Pont, undoubtedly belonged to the secular clergy. 

* Cf. supra, n. i. 

* The city of Nicopolis in Epirus at the entrance to the Gulf of Arta. 


He was bishop in the time of Antoninus and Commodus until the 
year when Paternus and Bradua were consuls (a.d. 185). 

He received a letter from Lucius, king of Britain, asking him to 
appoint a way by which Lucius might become a Christian.^ 

He also decreed 

He also confirmed again the 

that no kind of food 

in common use ( 

should be rejected especially by the Christian faithful, inasmuch 
as God created it ; provided, however, it were rational food and fit 
for human kind.^ 

He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 12 priests, 8 
deacons, 15 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the 
Batican, May 24, 

And the bishopric was empty 15 days. 

XV. Victor 

Victor, by nationality an African, son of Felix, occupied the see 

15 years, 3 months and 10 days. | 10 years, 2 months and 10 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Caesar Augustus,^ from the 2nd 
consulship of Commodus when Gravio * was his colleague (a.d. 
186) until the year when Lateranus and Rufinus were consuls 
(a.d. 197). 

1 The source of or ground for this extraordinary statement is quite unknown. It 
appears first here in the Lib. Pont. Bede and other medieval EngHsh chroniclers built 
up considerable legend upon it. Bede, Ecclesiastical History, I, c. 4, tr. Giles (Bohn's 
Library), p. 10. 

2 The apostle Paul had already prohibited the classification of certain foods as un- 
clean. Romans, xiv; Colossians, ii. 16, 17; / Timothy, iv. 3, etc. Our author may 
have had in mind the Manichean practice of condemning wine and meat, of which 
much was heard in Rome in the fifth century. 

' Severus. 

^ A corruption for Glabrio. 



He appointed that the holy feast of Easter should be observed 
upon the Lord's day, 

as Eleuther had done. 

as Pius had done.^ 

He added acolytes to the clergy.^ 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He also ordained that, at a time of necessity, any gentile who 
came to be baptised, wherever it might be, whether in a river or in 
the sea or in a spring 

or in a marsh, 

if only he pronounced the Chris- 
tian confession of faith, 

if only he said clearly the 
Christian confession of faith, 

should be thereafter a Christian in full standing.^ 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 4 priests, 7 
deacons, 12 bishops in divers places. 

He also summoned a council 
and an inquiry was made of 
Theophilus, bishop of Alexan- 

He instituted an inquiry 
among the clergy concerning the 
cycle of Easter and the Lord's 

1 The feast of Easter was celebrated on Sunday long before the time of Victor. 
See supra, p. 15. There was, however, a fresh discussion about this time as to the mode 
of determination of the date, of which Jerome preserves a reminiscence when he says 
that Victor wrote treatises " on the question of Easter and other matters." De Viris 
Illustribus, c. 34, ed. Richardson, p. 25. Eusebius has an interesting account of the 
disagreement between those who followed the Jewish custom and celebrated Easter 
on the Passover day, whenever in the week it fell, and those who insisted upon celebrat- 
ing it on Sunday as the day of resurrection. Church History, V, cc. 23-25, trans. Mc- 
Giffert, pp. 241-244. Jaile {Regesta, vol. I, p. 11) gives a decree of the synod held at 
Rome between 190 and 194, which provided that the Lord's resurrection should be 
celebrated always upon Sunday. It seems likely that Victor actually excommunicated 
the Eastern churches which persisted in adhering to the Jewish calendar. On the 
importance of Victor's pontificate see Langen, Gcschichie der Romischen Kirche and 
the volume on the early papacy in this series. 

2 There is some doubt as to the translation of this sentence. "Hie fecit sequentes 
cleros." It may also mean: "he instituted clergy in attendance," i.e. the notaries 
and subdeacons of the papal court as distinguished from the local or parish clergy con- 
nected with the different local churches. CJ. Duchesne, Lib. Poiil., vol. I, p. 137, n. 4, 
and Ducange, Glossarium MedicB et Infinicc Laliiiilalis , under Sequens. Harnack, 
Sources of the Apostolic Canons, tr. Wheatley, p. 88, n. 3. 

3 Pope Gelasius in a letter written in 494 to the bishops of Lucania makes a similar 
provision for baptism in time of emergency. Mansi, Conciliorum Amplissima Collectio, 
vol. VIII, p. 37. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 85, 636. 


dria, concerning Easter and the 
first day of the week and the 

day for Easter and he gathered 
together the priests and the bish- 
ops. Then Theophilus, bishop 
of Alexandria, was questioned 
and in the assembly it was 
decided that the Lord's day 
between the 14th day of the 
moon in the first month and the 
2ist day of the moon should be 
kept as the holy feast of Easter.^ 

He was buried near the body of the blessed apostle Peter in the 
Batican, July 28. 

And the bishopric was empty 12 days. 

XVI. Zephyrinus 

Zepherinus, by nationahty a Roman, son of Habundius, occupied 
the see 

18 years, 3 months and 10 days. | 8 years, 7 months and 10 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Antoninus and Severus, from the 
consulship of Saturninus and Gallicanus (a.d. 198) to the year 
when Presens and Stricatus were consuls (a.d. 217). 

He decreed that in the presence of all the clergy and the faith- 
ful laity every cleric, deacon or priest, should be ordained.^ 

He also made a regulation for the church,^ that there should 
be vessels of glass before the priests in the church and servitors to 
hold them while the bishop was celebrating mass and priests stand- 
ing about him. Thus mass should be celebrated and the clergy 

1 I.e. between full moon and the third quarter of the moon. The first month was 
March. The narrative here again is a confused memory of the great controversy over 
Easter. Cf. supra, p. i8, n. i. The Theophilus who took part in the synod was bishop 
of Ceesarea. He has been mistaken for the later and more famous Theophilus of Alex- 
andria. The present lunar method of reckoning the date was not worked out until 
the fifth century. Duchesne, op. cil., p. 138, n. 6. 

2 So far as we have record, the ordination ceremonies of the clergy have always 
been public. 

3 The following passage is corrupt and obscure. It must be read freely in order 
to get any meaning from it. It deals apparently with the part played by the assisting 
clergy in the episcopal mass. 


should assist in all the ceremony, except in that which belongs only 
to the bishop ; from the consecration of the bishop's hand the priest 
should receive the consecrated wafer to distribute to the people. 

He held 4 ordinations in the month of December, 14 priests, 
7 deacons, 13 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried in his own cemetery near the cemetery of 
CaHstus on the Via Appia, August 25.^ 

And the bishopric was empty 6 days. 

XVII. Callistus I 

Calistus, by nationality a Roman, son of Domitius, from the 
district Urbs Ravennantium,^ occupied the see 

5 years, | 6 years, 

2 months and 10 days. He was bishop in the time of Macrinus 
and Theodoliobullus,^ from the consulship of Antoninus (a.d, 218) 
and of Alexander (a.d. 222). 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He instituted a fast from corn, wine and oil upon the Sabbath 
day thrice in the year, according to the word of the prophet, of a 
fourth, of a seventh, and of a tenth.* 

He built a basilica beyond the Tiber.^ 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 16 priests, 
4 deacons, 8 bishops in divers places. 

1 Later tradition fixed Zephyrinus' tomb in a small basilica over the catacomb of 
Callistus. Beginning with him the popes of the third century were buried in the 
cemeteries about the Via Appia, no longer in the resting place of the apostle Peter, 
which may have been full. 

2 A district beyond the Tiber peopled by settlers from Ravenna, the modern 

' A corrupt form for Heliogabalus. 

* Zechariah, VIII, 19. Some manuscripts give the reading, "in the fourth, the 
seventh and the tenth months." If one adds the fast of Lent, which took place during 
the first month, March, one has the fasts of the four seasons which are mentioned in 
early Roman liturgies and in the homilies of St. Leo. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 141, 
n. 4. 

* On or near the site of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which was called sometimes the 
church of Callistus as late as the eighth century. 



He also was buried in the cemetery of Calipodius on the Via 
Aurelia at the third milestone/ October 14. 

He constructed another cemetery on the Via Appia, where many 
priests and martyrs rest, which is called even to this day the ceme- 
tery of Calistus. 

And the bishopric was empty 16 days. 

XVIII. Urbanus I 

Urbanus, by nationahty a Roman, son of Pontianus, occupied 
the see 

9 years, i month and 2 days.^ 

He instituted sacred vessels 
of silver, 

4 years, 10 months and 12 days. 
He had all sacred vessels made 
of silver. 

and he gave as an offering 25 patens of silver.^ 

He also ob- 
tained glory as 
a confessor in 
the time of Dio- 

He was him- 
self a con- 

He was him- 
self a confessor 
in the time of 

He was him- 
self a confessor 
at the time 
when Maximin 
and Africanus 
were consuls. 

He by his teaching turned many to baptism and faith and 
among them Valerianus, a man of high nobility, husband of the 
holy Cecilia. 

1 The catacomb of Calepodius on the Via Aurelia, of which few traces now are 
visible. The body of Callistus may have been hurriedly buried there because it was 
nearer to the scene of his martyrdom than his own cemetery. For the traditional 
account ot his death see Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. VI, p. 430. 

2 The Liherian Catalogue says: "He was bishop in the time of Alexander, from 
the consulship of Maximus and Elianus (a.d. 223) until the year when Agricola and 
Clementinus were consuls (a.d. 230)." 

3 The number is intended probably to correspond to that of the parish churches, 
one paten for each church. Glass was also a favorite material for the sacred vessels 
at this early period. Cf. jz^^o, pp. 7, n. i ; iq. Lowne, Christian Art and Archceology, 

PP- 343, 357- 

* A careless anachronism. The history of Pope Urban has been apparently con- 
fused with that of a confessor Urban, who may have lived under Diocletian. 


These he guided even to the palm of martyrdom/ 

and many were crowned with and through his exhortations 
martyrdom through his words. many were crowned with mar- 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 19 priests, 
7 deacons, 8 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Pretextatus on the Via 

The blessed Tiburtius buried him. May 19. 

And the bishopric was empty 30 days. 

XIX. PONTIANUS (230-235) 

Pontianus, by nationality a Roman, son of Calpurnius, occu- 
pied the see 
5 years, 2 months and 22 days. | 9 years, 5 months and 2 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom. He was bishop in the time 
of Alexander, from the consulship of Pompeianus and Pelinianus 
(a.d. 231). 

At that time Pontianus, the bishop, and Ypolitus, the priest,^ 

1 The Passion of St. Cecilia, with some form of which the author of the Lib. Pont. 
was acquainted, was compiled, in the opinion of Mommsen, during the fifth century 
and probably in Africa. The following is the earliest version given in the Acta Sanc- 
lorum (May, vol. VI, p. n). "Cecilia, a virgin of lofty rank, carried always the 
gospel of Christ hidden in her bosom. . . . She was espoused to a young man, Valeri- 
anus. . . . Valerianus . . . found the holy Urbanus, the bishop, who had already been 
twice a confessor and was in hiding among the tombs of the martyrs. ... ' Dost thou 
call thyself that Urbanus whom the Christians entitle their pope ? I hear that he is now 
condemned a second time and again he has betaken himself into hiding for the same 
cause.' . . . (Valerianus and Tiburtius, his brother,) were executed with the sword. 

The holy Urbanus baptised in her (Cecilia's) house more than four hundred of 
both sexes. . . . Almachius commanded that CeciHa should be brought before him 
and he asked her, saying. ... 'Of what state art thou?' Ceciha said, 'A free 
woman and a noble of high rank.' . . . The examiner beheaded (Cecilia)." 

2 Pope Urban was buried in the cemetery of Callistus, where his epitaph has been 
discovered. Another Urban, perhaps the confessor, was buried in the cemetery of 
Praetextatus and his name preserved by the neighboring church of San Urbano alia 
CafFarella. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 143, n. 5. 

3 This is thought to be the famous Hippolytus, bishop of Porto, mentioned in the 
Introduction, p. iv, whose statue is now in the Lateran museum. A translation of his 
work. On the Refutation of Heresies, which treats of pagan science and philosophy, 



were transported into exile by Alexander to the island of Bucina^ 
in Sardinia during the consulship of Severus and Quintianus (a.d. 
235). In that island he was maltreated and beaten with clubs 
and he died, October 30. In his place Antheros was ordained, 
November 21. 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 6 priests, 
5 deacons, 6 bishops in divers places. 

And the blessed 
Fabianus brought 
him back in a boat 
and buried him in the 
cemetery of Calistus 
on the Via Appia.^ 
And the bishopric 
was empty 10 days. 

And the blessed 
Fabianus brought 
him back with clergy 
in a ship and buried 
him in the catacombs. 

And he was buried 
in the cemetery of 
Calistus on the Via 
Appia. The bishop- 
ric was empty from 
the day of his burial 
until November 21. 

XX. Anteros (235-236) 

Antheros, by nationality a Greek, son of Romulus, occupied the 
I month and 12 days. | 12 years, i month and 12 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom at the time when Maximin 
and Africanus were consuls (a.d. 236).^ 

He collected carefully from the notaries the acts of the martyrs 
and of the readers and deposited them in the church, 

because at one time Maximus, a 
priest, had been a martyr.^ 

for the sake of one Maximinus 
a priest, who had been crowned 
with martyrdom. 

jugglery and priestcraft, as well as of Jewish and Christian heresies, is in the Ante 
Nicene Fathers, vol. V. Cf. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, Part I, Vol. II, pp. 316-477. 

1 No island of this name is known near Sardinia. The word is probably garbled. 

2 The epitaph of Pontianus has disappeared, but on the doorway of the papal 
crypt among other graffiti the following words have been roughly scrawled : "Mayest 
thou live, Pontianus, ... in God with all." They may have been written by a wit- 
ness of his interment. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 146, n. 8. 

^ The Liberian Catalogue says of Anteros simply that he died after a pontificate of 
forty days. His name does not occur in the lists of martyrs. 

* No other clear reference to this martyred priest, Maximus or Maximinus, has 


He created one bishop in the 
city of Fundi, in the Campania, 
during the month of December. 

He held one ordination, i 
bishop, in the month of Decem- 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia,^ 
January 3. 

And the bishopric was empty 13 days. 

XXI. Fabianus (236-250) 

Fabianus, by nationality a Roman, son of Fabius, occupied 
the see 14 years, 

I month and 10 days. | 11 months and 11 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom. He was bishop in the time 
of Maximus and Africanus (a.d. 236) until the year when Decius 
was consul the 2nd time and Quadratus was his colleague (a.d. 250), 
and he suffered January 29. 

He divided the districts among the deacons ^ and created 
7 subdeacons to be associated with the 7 notaries, that they 
might faithfully compile the acts of the martyrs, omitting 

And he commanded many buildings to be erected throughout 
the cemeteries.^ 

And after his passion Moyses and Maximus, priests, and Nico- 
stratus, a deacon, were seized and committed to prison. 

At that time Novatus arrived from Africa and drew away from 

come down to us. On the other hand there are numerous unidentified martyrs of the 
name in the Roman calendars and the date of his death falls during the persecution of 
Maximin. The author of the Lib. Pont, was in possession of a tradition or a history 
which has since been lost. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. xcv-xcvi. 

1 His brief epitaph is in the papal crypt. Duchesne, ibid., p. 147, n. 4. 

2 On the ecclesiastical divisions of the city, see supra, p. 10, n. 3. 

3 The seven subdeacons of Rome are mentioned in a letter of Cornelius written 
about two years after Fabianus' death to Fabius of Antioch. Eusebius, Church History, 
VI, c. 43, tr. McGiffert, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Series 2, vol. I, p. 288. 
Infra, p. 35, n. i. Hamack, Sources of the Apostolic Canons, tr. Wheatley, pp. 93-95. 
On the work of the notaries in preserving records of the martyrs see supra, p. 8, n. i. 

* De Rossi thinks that Fabianus continued the construction of the cemetery of 
Callistus both above and below ground. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 149, n. 5. 


the church Novatian and certain confessors.^ Afterwards Moyses 
died in prison, when he had been there 1 1 months ; and therefore 
many Christians fled to divers places. 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 22 priests, 
7 deacons, 11 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia,^ 
January 20. 

And the bishopric was empty 7 days. 

XXII. Cornelius (251-253) 

Cornelius, by nationality a Roman, son of Castinus, occupied 
the see 2 years, 

3 months and 10 days. | 2 months and 3 days.^ 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

While he was bishop Novatus ordained Novatian without the 
church and Nicostratus in Africa.^ After this the confessors who 
had left Cornelius returned into the church together with Maxi- 
mus, the priest, who had been with Moyses, and they became faith- 
ful confessors. Then Cornelius, the bishop, was banished to 
Centumcellae ^ and there he received a letter written and sent for 
his encouragement by Cyprian, which Cyprian wrote in prison to 
tell of Celerinus, the reader.® 

1 This passage and the allusion to the consecration of Novatian as antipope in the 
time of Cornelius refer to the beginnings of the Novatian schism which lasted two 
centuries and spread over the empire. Novatus, Novatian and their adherents refused 
to readmit to communion those Christians who under stress of persecution had sacri- 
ficed to idols after being baptized. Eusebius has an animated account of the discussion 
over this question at the close of the terrible persecution of Decius ; Church History, 
VI, cc. 42-45, tr. McGiffert, pp. 285-291. 

2 The name and title of Fabianus are cut into the stone of the papal crjqat in the 
catacomb of Callistus, close to those of Anteros. The letters MTP, the abbreviation 
for martyr, have been added to the inscription, but they are not cut so deep and are 
probably by a later hand. Duchesne, ihid., p. 149, n. 8. 

3 The Libcrian Catalogue adds, "from the 3rd consulship of Decius and the 2nd of 
Decius (a.d. 251) to the year when Gallus and Volusianus were consuls (a.d. 252)." 

* C/. n. I on this page. Also for letters of Cornelius describing some of these events, 
Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 17, 106; p. 18, in. 

* The modern Civitavecchia. 

«The Passio Cornelii, composed perhaps in the fifth century, thus expands this 
passage. "At the same time the blessed Cyprian, the bishop, wrote to the blessed 


He during his pontificate at the request of a certain matron, 
Lucina, took up the bodies of the apostles, blessed Peter and Paul, 
from the catacombs by night ; first the body of the blessed Paul 
was received by the blessed Lucina and laid in her own garden 
on the Via Ostiensis, 

near the place | beside the place 

where he was beheaded ; the body of the blessed Peter was received 
by the blessed Cornehus, the bishop, and laid near the place where 
he was crucified, among the bodies of the holy bishops, in the shrine 
of Apollo, on the Mons Aureus,^ in the Batican, by the palace of 
Nero, June 29.^ 

Afterwards he held one ordi- 
nation, 8 priests, and walked by 
night from Centumcellae. 

Cornelius, while he was in custody, to tell of Celerinus, the reader, what stripes he had 
endured for the faith and confession of Christ." As a matter of fact Cyprian himself 
was not in prison when he wrote to Cornelius in exile. His letter has been preserved, 
along with others in which the sufferings of Celerinus are described. Epp., Ix, xxi, 
xxxix, Corpus Scriptorum Ecdesiasticorum Lathwrum, vol. Ill, pp. 691-695, 529- 
532, 581-585; Eng. tr. in Ante Nicene Fathers, vol. V, Epp. Ivi, xx, xxxiii ; pp. 
350-352, 298-299, 312-314. The tenor of the letter to Cornehus may be inferred 
from an extract. " It cannot be sufficiently expressed how great were the exultation 
and the joy here when we heard of your success and courage, that you had stood forth 
as a leader of confession to the brethren there, and that, moreover, the confession of 
the leader had been multiplied by the loyalty of the brethren ; so that while you 
precede them to glory you have made many your companions in glory and have 
persuaded the people to confess by being first yourself prepared to confess on behalf 
of aU." 

1 A popular name for the Janiculum, perhaps a corruption from Mons Aurelius. 
The name is perpetuated by the church of San Pietro in Montorio. 

2 A very ancient tradition, confirmed by an inscription of Damasus, ascribes to the 
bodies of the two apostles a temporary sojourn in a crypt known as "ad Catacumbas," 
beneath the present church of San Sebastiano on the Via Appia. Duchesne supposes 
that this sojourn took place during the persecution of Diocletian, that the sacred 
bodies were then removed from their tombs in the Vatican and on the Via Ostiense 
(C/. supra, p. 5, infra, p. 57) and laid together in this more inconspicuous spot for the 
sake of safety. He argues that the author here is confusing the date when they were 
hidden away with the date of their restoration, that the persecution under Cornelius was 
the occasion of their concealment and that the peace under Constantine was in all likeli- 
hood the signal for their return to their venerated sepulchres. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. civ, and p. 151, n. 7. Also vifra under Damasus, p. 81. 



At that time Decius heard that he had received a letter from the 
blessed Cyprian, bishop of Carthage/ 

He sent to Centumcellae and 

and he had him brought from 

brought out blessed Cornelius, 

and he sum- 
moned him be- 
fore his pres- 
ence at night 

and said to 

nim : 

and he sum- 
moned him be- 
fore his pres- 
ence in Ter- 
lude,^ in front 
of the temple 
of the palace. 

and came near 
to him and 
said : 

and he sum- 
moned him be- 
fore his pres- 
ence with the 
prefect for the 
city in an in- 
terlude of the 

and said to 
him : 

and he sum- 
moned him be- 
fore his pres- 
ence with the 
prefect of the 
city in an in- 
terlude of the 
night, in front 
of the temple 
of Pallas, 
and said to 
him : 

"Hast thou determined to regard neither the gods nor the ordi- 

of our ancestors | of princes 

and to have no fear of our threatenings, that thou receivest and 
sendest letters harmful to the state?" 

Cornelius, the bishop, answered and said: "I have received a 
letter concerning the crown of the Lord, not harmful to the state 

but rather succor to the soul." I but counsel to the spirit." 

Then Decius ordered 
that he be beaten 
upon the mouth with 

Then Decius, full of 
wrath, ordered that 
the blessed Cornelius 

Then he ordered that 
he be beaten upon 
the mouth with a 

1 The following account of the trial and execution of Cornelius by Decius is entirely- 
apocryphal. Decius died almost two years before Cornelius and the latter perished 
in exile at Civitavecchia. The Libcriaii Catalogue preserves the earlier and authentic 
tradition : "being banished to Centumcellae he there fell asleep in glory." 

2 A corrupt form. Some manuscripts read, "in Tellude," i.e. "in Tellure," the 
temple of Tellus where the Senate sometimes met. It stood near the forum of Nerva 
and the temple of Pallas (Minerva) was in the forum. Cf. Jordan, Topographic drr 
Stadl Rom, Vol. II, p. 381. 



a scourge and led to 
the temple of Mars ^ 

be beaten upon the 
mouth with a scourge 
and led to the temple 
of Mars 

scourge and led be- 
fore the temple of 

to worship and, if he would not worship, be beheaded. This was 

And he was beheaded 

by the temple of Mars | in the place aforesaid 

and became a martyr. 

And his body was taken up at night by the blessed Lucina and 
the clergy and was buried in a crypt in her own garden, near the 
cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia,^ September 14. 

And the bishopric was empty 66 days. 

XXIII. Lucius (253-254) 

a Tuscan from the city of Luca, 
son of Lucinus, 

3 months and 3 days. 

Lucius, by nationality 
a Roman, son of Purphirius, 

occupied the see 3 years, 
8 months and 10 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom. He was bishop in the time 
of Gallus and Volusianus (a.d. 252), until the year when Valerian 
was consul for the third time and Gallicanus ^ was his colleague 
(a.d. 255). He was in exile. Afterwards by the will of God he 
returned in safety to the church. 

He ordained that in every place two priests and three deacons 
should abide with the bishop to be witnesses for him to the church.* 

^ There was a famous temple to Mars just outside the city wall, on the left of the 
Via Appia. From there it was a plausibly short distance to the cemetery of Callistus. 

' The body of Cornelius was translated from Civitavecchia to a crypt close to the 
cemetery of Callistus. The inscription has been recovered. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., 
vol. I, p. 152, n. 14. 

' The name should be Gallienus. 

* The system of private attendance upon the pope by members of the clergy, 
regular or secular, seems to have been first instituted by the council of 595 under 
Gregory I. Until that time the pope received personal service from laymen. Duchesne 


He was also beheaded by Valerian, March 5. 

He, while on his way to his 
passion, gave authority to Ste- 
phen, archdeacon of his church.^ 

He gave authority over the 
whole church to Stephen, his 
archdeacon, while he was on his 
way to his passion. 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 4 priests, 4 
deacons, 7 bishops in divers places. 
He also was buried 

in the cemetery of Calistus 

near the cemetery of Calistus 
in a sandpit, 

on the Via Appia,^ August 25. 

And the bishopric was empty 35 days. 

XXIV. Stephen I (254-257) 

Stephen, by nationality a Roman, son of lobius, occupied the see 
4 years, 2 months and 15 days. | 6 years, 5 months and 2 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He was bishop in the time of Valerian and Gallicanus and Maxi- 
mus until the year when Valerian was consul for the 3rd time and 
Gallicanus for the 2nd time ^ (a.d. 255). 

In * his time he was carried into exile ; and afterwards by the 

suggests that in ascribing this ordinance to Lucius our author may have been animated 
by the memory of the charge of adultery brought against Pope Symmachus later and the 
difficulty which that pope experienced in clearing himself for lack of witnesses. Cf. 
infra, p. 117, n. 2 ; Duchesne, Lib.Ponl., vol. I, p. 153, n. 2. There is no other record of 
an edict of the sort so early. 

1 This incident is probably taken from an apocrjqahal martyrology, or Passion of 
Lucius, now lost. Lucius is not usually reckoned among the martyrs, for although 
banished for a while he was permitted to return and died at Rome. 

2 A piece of the tablet which marked the tomb of Lucius and bears his name has 
been discovered in the course of excavation in the catacomb of CaUistus. Duchesne, 
ibid., p. 153, n. 5. 

^ Gallicanus should be Gallienus. The Liberian Catalogue gives the synchronism 
more exactly. "He was bishop in the time of Valerian and Gallienus, from the 2nd 
consulship of Volusianus and the first of Maximus (253) until, " etc. 

* The following paragraph is contained in only one manuscript of the composite 
seventh century text and is evidently an interpolation of that period. The early lists 
mention Stephen simply as bishop, not as martyr. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 154, 
n. I. 


will of God he returned in safety to the church. And after 34 days 
he was tried by Maximian ^ and committed to prison with 9 priests 
and 2 bishops, Honorius and Castus, and 3 deacons, Xistus, Dionis- 
ius and Gaius. There in prison, near the arch of Stella,^ he held a 
synod and all the vessels of the church he entrusted to the authority 
of his archdeacon, Xystus, and the money coffer. After 6 days he 
himself was brought forth under guard and beheaded. 

He forbade priests and deacons to use their consecrated garments 
for daily wear save in church. 

He held two ordinations in the month of December, 6 priests, 
5 deacons, 3 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia, 
August 2? 

And the bishopric was empty 22 days. 

XXV. Xystus H (257-258) 

Xystus, by nationality 
a Greek, | a Roman, 

previously a philosopher,^ occupied the see 

2 years, 11 months and 6 days. | i year, 10 months and 23 da3^s. 

He was crowned with martyrdom. 

He was bishop in the time of Valerian and Decius,^ when there 
was the great persecution. 
At that time he was seized 

by Valerian 

and taken to offer sacrifice to demons. But he despised the com- 

1 An obvious anachronism. 

2 I.e. " Arcus Stillse," an arch of the aqueduct (the dripping arch, arcus stillans) ; 
either the Porta Capena or the arch of Drusus. Cf. Jordan, Topographic, Vol. II, p. 380. 

^ The place of Stephen's burial is mentioned in all the liturgical calendars after 336 
but his epitaph has not been found. Duchesne, ibid., n. 4. 

* There seems to have arisen some confusion between Pope Xystus and a Py- 
thagorean philosopher, Sextius, whose Sententice were translated from Greek into Latin 
by Rufinus in the fifth century. 

^ The Liherian Catalogue omits the usual imperial synchronisms. The author of 
the Lib. Pont, supplies them, coupling Valerian and Decius as if they were contempo- 


mands of Valerian. He was beheaded and with him six others, all 
deacons, Felicissimus, Agapitus, Januarius, Magnus, Vincentius 
and Stephen, about August 6} 

And the priests kept charge ^ from the consulship of Maximus 
and Gravio (a.d. 255) until the year when Tuscus and Bassus were 
consuls (a.d. 258), from the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus until 
July 20, when 

there was the great persecution 
under Decius.^ 

the exceeding cruel persecution 
was raging under Decius. 

And after the passion of the blessed Xystus, on the third day, 
Lawrence, his archdeacon, suffered also, August 10, likewise the 
subdeacon Claudius and Severus, the priest, and Crescentius, the 
reader, and Romanus, the doorkeeper.'* 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 4 priests, 7 
deacons, 2 bishops in divers places. 

He himself was buried in the cemetery of CaHstus on the Via 
Appia and the aforesaid 6 deacons were buried in the cemetery of 
Praetextatus on the Via Appia, August 6.^ 

1 A letter of Cyprian, written from Carthage a month or thereabout after these 
events, speaks of the news of the persecution at Rome. "But know that Xistus was 
martyred in the cemetery on August sixth and with him four deacons." The church 
at Carthage was expecting persecution also and C>T5rian hopes "that every one of us 
may think less of death than of immortality." Ep. Ixxxi, tr. Ante Nicene Fathers, 
vol. V, p. 408. According to tradition, Xystus was seated in a marble chair in the 
midst of a church service, when he was seized and carried away to the scene of his 
martyrdom. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 156, n. 8. Felicissimus and Agapitus, the 
first two of the six deacons mentioned in the text, were interred, not with Xystus, but 
in the cemetery of Prstextatus, where their tombs may now be seen. Duchesne, op. 
cit., p. 155, n. 4. 

2 I.e. during the vacancy in the bishopric following the execution of Xystus. 
Letters of Cyprian written at this juncture are addressed, "To the priests and deacons 
who are at Rome." 

3 The foregoing unintelligible tangle of dates is a garbled version of the passage 
in the Liberian Catalogue. Xystus was bishop " from the consulship of Maximus and 
Glabrio (a.d. 256) until the year when Tuscus and Bassus were consuls (a.d. 258), and 
he suffered August 6. And the priests kept charge from the consulship of Tuscus and 
Bassus until July 21 of the year when ^milianus and Bassus were consuls (a.d. 259)." 

* The later legends of St. Lawrence knew nothing of Claudius and Severus, though 
the memor>' of Crescentius and Romanus was sometimes recalled. The Lib. Pont. 
may preserx'e an earlier and more accurate tradition. Cf. Acta Sanctorum, August, 

vol. 11, pp. 485-532- 

* Duchesne prints the verse with which Pope Damasus later commemorated the 



The aforesaid blessed Lawrence 

was buried on the 
Via Tiburtina in a 
crypt in the Ager Ve- 
ranus, August lo.^ 

was buried in the 
cemetery of Cyriaco 
in the Ager Veranus 
in a crypt with many 
other martyrs. 

And the bishopric was empty 35 days. 

was buried on the Via 
Tiburtina in the cem- 
etery of Cyriaces in 
the Ager Veranus in 
a crypt with many 
other martyrs, Au- 
gust 10. 

XXVI. DiONYSius (259-268) 

Dionysius, previously a monk, whose family we have not been 
able to ascertain, occupied the see 

8 years, [ 6 years, 

2 months and 4 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Galienus, from July 22 of the year 
when Emilianus and Bassus were consuls (a.d. 259), to December 
26 in the consulship of Claudius and Paternus (a.d. 269). 

He assigned churches and cemeteries to the priests and appointed 
parishes in the diocese.^ 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 12 priests, 
6 deacons, 8 bishops in divers places. 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia, 
December 27. 

And the bishopric was empty 5 days. 

tomb of Xystus in the papal crypt. Op. cil., p. 156, n. 8. See infra, p. 82 and n. i. 
Four out of the six deacons were buried with Xystus in the cemetery of Callistus. Supra, 
p. 31, n. I. 

1 The site of the present famous basihca of San Lorenzo in Agro Verano or fuori 
le Mura. For the building of the basilica see infra, p. 61. 

^ Duchesne takes this sentence to mean that Dionysius carried out the parish 
organization of the city, assigning certain suburban cemeteries to certain urban 
churches, so that each church should have its special cemetery. He also assigned 
the boundaries of the episcopal dioceses within the metropolitan diocese of the pope. 
The word "parochia," parish, was employed at this period to signify either a rural 
parish in the modern sense or the whole territory governed by a bishop. Lib. PonL, 
vol. I, p. 157. n. 3- 


XXVII. Felix I (269-274) 

Felix, by nationality a Roman, son of Constantius, occupied 
the see 
2 years and 10 months. | 4 years, 3 months and 25 days. 

He was crowned with martyrdom.^ 

He was bishop in the time of Claudius and Aurelian, from the 
consulship of Claudius and Paternus (a.d. 269), to the year when 
Aurelian and Capitulinus were consuls (a.d. 274). 

He instituted the celebration of masses 

over the sepulchres | over the memorials 

of the martyrs.^ 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 9 priests, 
5 deacons, 5 bishops in divers places. 

He built a basilica on the Via 

He also was buried in his own 
cemetery on the Via AureHa at 
the 2nd milestone, May 30. 

Aurelia, where also he was 
buried. May 30, 2 miles from 
the city of Rome. 

And the bishopric was empty 5 days. 


Eutycianus, by nationality a Tuscan, son of Marinus, from the 
city of Luna,^ occupied the see 

8 years, lo months and 4 days. | i year, i month and i day. 

He was bishop in the time of Aurelian, from the 3rd consulship 

1 Pope Felix was not counted a martyr in the early lists and he was buried with his 
predecessors in the cemetery of Callistus. He is confounded here with two martyrs of 
the same name who were associated with a basilica on the Via Aurelia. Duchesne, 
Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. cxxv, 158, n. 3. 

2 The poet Prudentius is witness to the fact that at the end of the fourth century 
the custom existed of celebrating masses in memory of the martyrs "ad corpus," either 
in the cemeterial basilicas over the tombs or in the subterranean vaults themselves. 
Peristephanon, lib. xi, v. 171, etc. Quoted by Duchesne, op. cit., p. 158, n. 2. 

' The modern Luni. 


of Aurelian when Marcellinus was his colleague (a.d. 275), until 
December 13 of the year when Carus was consul for the 2nd time 
and Carinus was consul with him (a.d. 283). 

He ordained that fruit might be blessed upon the altar, but only 
beans and grapes.^ 

He in his time buried 342 martyrs in divers places with his 
own hand.^ He also ordained that whenever anyone of the faith- 
ful buried a martyr, he should bury him in a dalmatic or a purple 
tunic and the report of it should be brought to himself (Euty- 
chianus) . 

He held 5 ordinations in the month of December, 14 priests, 5 
deacons, 9 bishops in divers places. 

And he was crowned with martyrdom.^ 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia, 
July 25.4 

And the bishopric was empty 8 days. 

XXIX. Gaius (283-296) 

Gains, by nationality a Dalmatian, of the family of Dioclitian, 
the emperor, son of Gaius, occupied the see 11 years, 4 months 

and 9 days. | and 12 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Carus and Carinus, from Decem- 
ber 17 in the 2nd consulship of Carus when Carinus was his 
colleague (a.d. 283), until April 22 of the year when Diocletian 
was consul for the 4th time and Constantius for the 2nd time 
(a.d. 296). 

^ Prayers for the blessing of the first fruits are found in various early Roman litur- 
gies. They had, of course, both Jewish and pagan archetypes. The bean and grape 
have been from ancient times the chief food crops of the Italian people. Duchesne, 
Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 150, n. i. 

2 No persecution of importance is recorded under Eutychianus. Whether this 
sentence and the following refer to the original burying of martyrs or to the translation 
of their bodies is impossible to say. They may both be entirely apocryphal. 

' There is no other record of Eutychianus' martyrdom. The words may be an 

^ His inscription is in the papal crypt. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 160, n. 6. 



He decreed 

that whoever was worthy to be 
bishop must rise from door- 
keeper through each rank, step 
by step, to the higher place. 

that all the offices in the 
church should be thus held in 
turn : whoever was worthy to be 
bishop must first be doorkeeper, 
reader, exorcist, acolyte, sub- 
deacon, deacon, priest and then 
be ordained bishop.^ 

He divided the districts among the deacons. 

He fled from the persecution of Diocletian into the crypts. 

and while dwelhng there died a 

and while dwelling there was 
crowned with martyrdom after 
8 years.^ 

He held 4 ordinations in the month of December, 25 priests, 
8 deacons, 5 bishops in divers places. 

He, after 11 years, was crowned with martyrdom in company 
with Gavinius, his brother, on account of the daughter of Gavinius, 
the priest, whose name was Susanna. 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia, 
April 22.^ 

And the bishopric was empty 1 1 days. 

1 Pope Cornelius, writing thirty years before this of Novatian and the schism in the 
Roman church, gives the earliest known enumeration of the seven ranks in the hierarchy 
of the order. "This avenger of the Gospel then did not know that there should be one 
bishop in the catholic church ; yet he was not ignorant — for how could he be ? — that in 
it there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, 
fifty-two exorcists, readers and doorkeepers." Eusebius, Church History, \T, c. 43, tr. 
McGiffert, p. 288. See under Pope Sylvester, infra, p. 46. On the institution of 
the graded hierarchy see Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I, pp. 150-152. 

2 The legend of Gaius' martyrdom is not authenticated. His name is not in the 
early martyrologies and the persecution of Diocletian did not begin until seven years 
after his death. We have in our text, however, three different versions of the legend, 
the last connecting him with the passion of St. Susanna. In fact she is sometimes 
said to have been a niece of Gaius. Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. Ill, p. 62; August, 
vol. II, p. 631 ; Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. xcviii. 

' The tablet which marked his tomb was discovered in fragments and put together 
by De Rossi. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 161, n. 7. 


XXX. Marcellinus (296-304) 

Marcellinus, by nationality a Roman, son of Projectus, occu- 
pied the see 
8 years, 2 months and 25 days. [ 9 years, 4 months and 16 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, from 
July I in the 6th consulship of Diocletian and the 2nd of Constantius 
(a.d. 296) until the year when Diocletian was consul for the 9th 
time and Maximian for the 8th (a.d. 304). At that time was a 
great persecution, so that within 30 days 17,000 Christians of both 
sexes in divers provinces were crowned with martyrdom.^ 

For this reason Marcellinus himself was haled to sacrifice, that 
he might offer incense, and he did it. 

And after a few days,^ inspired by penitence, he was beheaded 
by the same Diocletian and crowned with martyrdom for the faith 
of Christ in company with Claudius and Cyrinus and Antoninus, 

and the blessed Marcellinus on 
his way to his passion adjured 
Marcellus, the priest, that he 
should not fulfil the commands 
of Diocletian. 

1 This exaggerated estimate seems to be founded upon a misconception of a state- 
ment in the apocryphal Preface to Jerome's Martyrology. Mommsen, Lib. Pont., 

p. 41, note on 1. 5. 

2 A single manuscript contains the following more detailed account. "And after a 
few days a synod was held in the province of Campania in the city of Sessana, where 
with his own lips he professed his penitence in the presence of 180 bishops. He wore 
a garment of haircloth and ashes upon his head and repented, saying that he had sinned. 
Then Diocletian was wroth and seized him and bade him sacrifice to images. But he 
cried out with tears, saying, 'It repenteth me sorely for my former ignorance,' 
and he began to utter blasphemy against Diocletian and the images of demons made 
with hands. So, inspired by penitence, he was beheaded, " etc. Sessana is a corrupt 
form of the name Sinuessa. The modern town is called Rocca di Mandragone. See 
on the story of this council and the apostasy of MarceUinus, Introduction, p. ix. Petili- 
anus, a Donatist bishop, with whom Augustine had a controversy, is the earliest au- 
thority for Marcellinus' defection. Duchesne, Lit. Pont.,\o\. I, p. bcxiv; Momm- 
sen, Lib. Pont., pp. liv, Iv. Petilianus says that Marcellinus not only offered incense 
but also surrendered the sacred books to be burned. Augustine in reply is non-com- 
mittal. At any rate, he remarks, "it is no affair of ours. For they have borne their 
own burden, whether it was good or whether it was evil. We ourselves believe it was 
good ; but whatever it was it was theirs." Augustine, Contra Litteras Petiliani; Migne, 
Pat. Lai., vol. 43, cols. 323, 328. 


And afterwards the holy bodies lay in the street for an ex- 
ample to the Christians 26 days by order of Diocletian. 

Then the priest Marcellus and the other priests and the dea- 
cons took up the bodies by night with hymns and buried them on 
the Via Salaria in the cemetery of Priscilla in a chamber which is 
well known unto this day, as Marcellinus himself had commanded, 

when in penitence he was being 
haled to execution, in the crypt 
near the body of the holy Cris- 

April 25.^ 

He held 2 ordinations in the month of December, 4 priests, 
2 deacons, 5 bishops in divers places. 

From that day the bishopric was empty 7 years, 6 months and 
25 days while Diocletian was persecuting the Christians. 

XXXI. Marcellus (308-309) 

Marcellus,^ by nationality a Roman, son of 
Marcellus, | Benedictus, 

from the district of the Via Lata, occupied the see 
4 years. I 5 years, 7 m^onths and 21 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Maxentius, from the 4th consul- 

1 The crypt of San Crescenzio in the cemetery of Priscilla is marked on seventh 
century itineraries of the holy places in the environs of Rome. The grave of Marcel- 
linus, however, has not been identified. 

2 Eusebius, Jerome, Augustine and the authors of the Roman hidex and other early 
lists omit either Marcellus or Marcellinus from their chronologies. There was evidently 
some tendency to confuse the similar names. The Liberian Catalogue, however, gives 
both and the Lib. Pont, copies it. Duchesne holds that Marcellinus was ignored 
by the compilers because of the disgrace which he brought upon his office. Lib. Pont., 
vol. I, pp. Lxxiii, Ixxiv. Mommsen argues and supports his contention by the 
chronology of the Lib. Pont, itself, that Marcellus was not included in the episcopal 
lists because he was never regularly ordained bishop but merely performed some of 
the duties of the head of the church during the seven years of interregnum that fol- 
lowed the execution of Marcellinus. Lib. Pont., pp. liii-lv. 


ship of Maxentius when Maximus was his colleague, until after the 

made request of a certain ma- 
tron, whose name was Priscilla,- 

established a cemetery on the Via Salaria, and he appointed 25 
parish churches^ as dioceses^ in the city of Rome to provide 
baptism and penance for the many who were converted among the 
pagans and burial for the martyrs.^ 

He ordained 25 priests in the city of Rome and 2 deacons, in 
the month of December, and 21 bishops in divers places. 

He was seized by Maxentius and held in confinement, because 
he set the church in order, and imprisoned that he might deny his 
bishopric and degrade himself by sacrifices to demons. Then, 
forasmuch as he continually despised and scorned the words and 
commands of Maxentius, he was condemned to the stable.^ But, 
although he served many days in the stable, he did not cease his 

1 The years 308-309, which the author attempts to designate here, were years of 
some confusion in the consulate. Maxentius did not recognize the regular officials 
and the usual formulae were not preserved. 

2 The name of PrisciUa, introduced in a few manuscripts, is an anachronism, sug- 
gested undoubtedly by the well-known cemetery on the Via Salaria. That cemetery 
is much older than MarceUus. A few other manuscripts give the name NoveUa as 
that of Marcellus' foundarion and De Rossi has proved the existence of such a cemetery 
across the Via Salaria facing the cemetery of PrisciUa. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 165, n. 4. 

3 MarceUus may have found it necessary to reorganize the churches after the per- 
secution and the vacancy in the episcopate. See supra, pp. 7, n. 2 ; 21, n. 3. For a 
brief account of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome in the fifth century see 
Frothingham, Monuments of Christian Rome, pp. 39-41 ■ Gregorovius, History of Rome, 
tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 267-282. 

* Tills passage maybe compared with supra, p. 32 and n. 2, to show how variable 
was stiU the meaning of terms like "parish" and "diocese," which have since become 

so exact. 

^ Each parish church in the city was at first apparently connected with a suburban 
cemetery or catacomb, where its dead, whether martyrs or not, were buried. Later 
the service of the cemeteries became so arduous that monasteries were estabUshed 
adjacent to take charge of them. Cf. infra, p. 163, n. i. 

8 The reference here seems to be to the pubUc stables maintained as part of the 
service of the imperial post. The story of the sufferings of MarceUus cannot be cor- 
roborated from other sources but is not in itself inconsistent with what facts we know 
of this turbulent period. 


service to the Lord with prayers and fastings. Moreover in the 
ninth month all his clergy came by night and removed him by 
night from the stable. A certain matron and widow, whose name 
was Lucina, who had lived with her husband Marcus 15 years 
and had been 19 years a widow, received the blessed man ; and she 
dedicated her house as a church in the name of the blessed Mar- 
cellus ^ and there day and night the Lord Jesus Christ was confessed 
with hymns and prayers. But Maxentius heard of it and sent and 
seized the blessed Marcellus a second time and gave orders that in 
that very church 

a second time | 

boards should be laid down and the animals of the stable should be 
collected and kept there and the blessed Marcellus should tend 
them. And he died in the service of the animals, clad only in a 
hair shirt. 

And the blessed Lucina took his body 

and he was buried | and buried it 

in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria, January 16.^ 
And the bishopric was empty 20 days. 
Lucina herself was condemned by proscription. 

XXXII. EusEBius (309 or 310) 

Eusebius, by nationality a Greek, previously a physician, occu- 
pied the see 

2 years, i month and 25 days. [ 6 years, i month and 3 days. 

He was bishop in the time 

of Constantine.^ | of Constans. 

1 The modem church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. The association with St. Lawrence 
was achieved in the fifth century. 

^ The epitaph erected by Pope Damasus (see infra, p. 82, n. 1) over the grave of 
Marcellus is printed by Duchesne ; op.cit.,p. 166, n. 10. It alludes to a rebellious 
faction in the church and to an apostate who denounced the pope to the tyrant 
INIaxentius and brought about his banishment. It does not mention the manner of his 

^ The author of the Lib. Pont, has inserted th^ name of Constantine and the 
succeeding sentence into the text as allusions to the legend of the discovery of the True 
Cross by the Jew Cyriacus. The Latin version of the legend is in the Acta Sanctorum, 


While he was bishop the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ was 
found, May 3, and Judas was baptised, who is also Quiriacus. 

He discovered heretics in the city of Rome and reconciled them 
by the laying on of hands.^ 

He held 
3 ordinations | i ordination 

in the month of December, 13 priests, 3 deacons, 14 bishops in 
divers places." 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Calistus 

in a crypt j 

on the Via Appia, October 2. 

And the bishopric was empty 7 days. 

XXXni. MiLTiADES (31 1-3 14) 

Miltiades, by nationality an African, occupied the see 4 years, 
7 months and 8 days, from July 7 in the 

9th consulship of Maximin un- 
til the 2nd consulship of Maxen- 

9th consulship of Maxentius 
until the 2nd consulship of Maxi- 

which was in the month of September, when Volusianus and Rufinus 
were consuls (a.d. 311).^ 

He decreed that no one of the faithful should in any wise keep 
fast upon the Lord's day or upon the fifth day of the week, because 
the pagans celebrated those days as a sacred fast.^ 

May, vol. I, p. 445. The other legend, which attributed the discovery of the Cross 
to the empress Helena, became eventually the more popular in the West. 

^ The rite employed by the early Roman church in the reconciliation of heretics 
seems to have been very similar to that of confirmation. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, 
p. 167, n. 3. 

2 Eusebius was pope for four months only, from April to August. He, therefore, 
could have held no ordinations in December. 

3 The tomb of Eusebius is in a special chamber of the catacomb of Callistus, at 
some distance from the large chamber where the third century popes are buried. 

'' The consular synchronisms are confused here and in the Liberian Catalogue, partly 
because Maxentius recognized a different set of consuls from the regularly elected offi- 
cials and both the Catalogue and our author attempt to name them all. Our author 
omits the latter part of his clause, "until January 11 in the year when Volusianus and 
Annianus were consuls (a.d. 314)." 

^ Sunday fasting has been forbidden in the church since the rise of the dualist sects 


And he discovered Manicheans in the city.^ 

He appointed that consecrated offerings should be sent through- 
out the churches from the bishop's consecration ; these are called 
the leaven.^ 

He held i ordination in the month of December, 7 priests, 5 
deacons, 1 1 bishops in divers places. 

He was buried in the cemetery of Calistus on the Via Appia 

in a crypt I 

December 10. 

And the bishopric was empty 16 days. 

XXXIV. Sylvester (314-335) 

Sylvester, by nationality a Roman, son of Rufinus, occupied 
the see 23 years, 10 months and 11 days. 

He was bishop in the time of Constantine and Volusianus, from 
February i until January i in the consulship of Constantius and 

He was an exile on Mount Syraptin,^ 

who testified by that observance their abhorrence of the material world. Thursday 
also is rarely a fast day, although the reason for the latter rule is not so clear. Duchesne, 
Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. i68, n. 2. 

1 This famous dualist sect had arisen some thirty years before the pontificate of 
Miltiades. For a convenient account of its history and doctrines see " Manicheanism," 
Harnack and Conybeare, Encyclopedia BrUannica, nth edition. 

2 An obscure passage which has given rise to much debate over the possible use of 
leaven in the Host. See " Fermentum , " Ducange, Glossarimn Med. et Inf. Lat. Duchesne 
quotes a letter of Pope Innocent I to Decentius, which evidently refers to the same 
custom. "And the priests of these (parish) churches, because they are prevented by 
their charges from assembling with us on the Lord's day, receive through acolytes the 
leaven prepared by us, in order that they may not suppose themselves divided from our 
communion on that great day ; but I do not think it right to do this for the parishes 
(rural), because the sacred elements ought not to be carried a long distance, nor do we 
send them to the priests situated at the various cemeteries, for those priests have the 
right and privilege of preparing them." Duchesne, op. cit., p. 169, n. 4. Mansi, 
Amplissima Colleciio, vol. Ill, p. 1028. As late as the eighth century the Host was 
sent about in Rome from the pope's altar, as here described, on Holy Thursdays. 
Atchley, Ordo Romanus Primus, pp. 106-108. 

^ The Liberian Catalogue says : "He was bishop in the time of Constantine, from the 
consulship of Volusianus and Annianus (a.d. 314), January 31, to December 31 in the 
year when Constantius and Albinus were consuls (a.d. 335)." 

* This form of the name is found in the fifth century Armenian text of the legend 


driven by the persecution of 

and afterward he returned and baptised with glory Constantine 
Augustus, whom the Lord cured 

through baptism | 

of leprosy, from whose persecution he had fled when he was in 
exile. He built a church in the city of Rome, in the garden of one 
of his priests who was called Equitius, and he appointed it as a 
parish church of Rome, near the baths of Domitian, and even unto 
this day it is called the church of Equitius.^ There also he offered 
the following gifts : ^ 

a silver paten,^ weighing 20 pounds,^ the gift of Constantine 
He gave likewise : 

of the miraculous healing of Constantine. In the two epitomes of the Lib. Pont, and 
in the second recension it is written Seracten or Soracten, with the evident intention of 
identifying the spot with the well iinown mountain near Rome. Duchesne believes 
that the Constantinian legend originated early in the fifth century in the Syrian or 
Armenian communities of the Eastern church. Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. cix-cxx. 
The most trustworthy account of the actual baptism of the emperor is furnished by 
Eusebius in his Life oj Constantine, tr. Richardson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, - 
ser. 2, vol. I, pp. 555-556. The ceremony took place shortly before the illustrious 
convert's death, near Nicomedia in Asia Minor. Cf. Coleman, Constantine the Great 
and Christianity for literature on this and associated topics. 

1 The church is now generally known as San Martino ai Monti. Remains of Syl- 
vester's edifice still exist below the present structure. The baths here called by Domi- 
tian's name are more usually styled the baths of Trajan or the baths of Titus. 

■ On the value of this and subsequent lists of real and movable property bestowed 
upon the churches see Introduction, pp. ix-x. Duchesne has a lengthy discussion of the 
questions involved. In the course of it he prints an interesting document of the year 
471, a deed of gift of lands, precious vessels and other articles from a man and his 
wife to a church near Tivoli. The deed is strikingly similar in phraseology and arrange- 
ment to the lists of the Lib. Pont.; op. cit., pp. cxl-cliv. Of course the churches 
were plundered many times over in the centuries that followed. 

3 The paten of this early period, as represented in the mosaic of San Vitale in Ra- 
venna, for example, was a large, flat bowl and was used to hold the consecrated Host 
for the bishop and his assistants, the bread for the laity being broken and distributed in 
bags. An ordinary church or an altar in a large church owned but one paten, though 
a number of chahces. The paten, however, might also hold the consecrated oil or 
chrism, as below. Duchesne, o;>. cU., p. cxliv; Lowrie, Christian Art and Archa- 

ology, pp. 343-354- 

^ The Roman pound, nearly equal to twelve oimces avoirdupois. 


2 silver beakers,^ weighing each ten pounds ; 
a golden chalice, weighing 2 lbs. ; 
5 chaUces for service ,2 weighing each two lbs. ; 
2 silver pitchers,^ weighing each ten lbs. ; 

1 silver paten, overlaid with gold, for the chrism, weighing 
5 lbs. ; 

10 chandeliers,^ weighing each eight lbs. ; 
20 bronze lamps, weighing each ten lbs. ; 
12 bronze candelabra, weighing each three hundred lbs. ; ^ 

2 silver pitchers, weighing each ten lbs. ; 

I silver paten overlaid with gold, for the chrism, weighing 

5 lbs. ; 
10 chandeliers, weighing each eight lbs. ; 
20 bronze lamps, weighing each ten lbs. ; 
12 bronze candelabra, weighing each three hundred lbs. ; 
the Valerian manor in the Sabine region,^ which yields 80 solidi ; ^ 
the Statian ^ manor in the Sabine region, which yields 55 sol. ; 

^The "scyphus" or beaker was a large vessel, shaped like a goblet, in which the 
wine was placed for consecration on the altar and from which it was poured into the 
smaller chalices for distribution to the congregation. At least this is Duchesne's theory ; 
ibid., p. cxliv. Sometimes, however, the term "chalice" is used to denote the vessel 
of honor for the altar. For the shape see the illustrations in Lowrie, op. cit., passim. 

2 The "chahces for service" were used to carry the wine to the laity. 

3 The "ama," pitcher or flagon, was a large receptacle which, in Duchesne's opinion, 
was set to receive the offerings of wine presented by the faithful. Lowrie suggests 
that it contained the wine and water which were mixed for the Eucharist. Op. cit., 

P- 347- 

■* The churches of this and later centuries were illuminated by a wealth of lamps, 
chandeliers, candlesticks and candelabra, suspended from the roof or standing upon 
the floor. A large variety of terms is employed to enumerate the different kinds and 
shapes of lights, an exact translation of which is now impossible. The lamps and 
chandeliers found at Pompeii are smaller and far less sumptuous than these products of 
fourth century workmanship. Lowrie, op. cit., pp. 349-352. It wiU be noticed that 
no Hghts were placed upon the altar. The officiating priest still stood behind it, facing 
the people, and illumination came from overhead or from the sides. 

5 Or thirty pounds. The figures throughout these lists vary in different manu- 

8 It is impossible to locate most of the lands mentioned in the fists. The word 
"fundus," here translated manor, means a farm or piece of country property. 

^ The solidus was a gold coin introduced by Constantine and worth at this time 
about $3.50 in our money. 

* A small hamlet caUed Stazzano perpetuates the name to-day. 


the manor of Duas Casee in the Sabine region, which yields 

40 sol. ; 
the Percihan manor in the Sabine region, which yields 20 sol. ; 
the Corbian manor in the region of Cora,^ which yields 60 sol. ; 
a house in the city, with a bath, in the Sicinine district,^ which 

yields 85 sol. ; 
a garden within the city of Rome in the district of Ad Duo 

Amantes,^ yielding 15 sol. ; 
a house in the district of Orfea within the city,^ which yields 

58 and one third sol. 
He made a regulation for the whole church. Likewise in his 
time was held a council 

with his approval 1 at his bidding 

in Nicea in Bithynia, and there were gathered together 318 catholic 

and 208 others unable to attend | 

sent their signatures. 

And they set forth in full the 

holy, I 

catholic and unspotted faith and condemned Arrius and Fotinus 
and Sabellius and their disciples.^ 

And after consultation with Augustus he assembled 277 

bishops I 

' The modern village of Cori in the Campagna. 

2 It is impossible to identify all of the city districts enumerated in the lists. The 
Sicinine district, however, was in the neighborhood of the church of Santa Maria 
Maggiore, which was known in the fourth century as the "basilica Sicinini." Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 188, n. II. 

' Probably in the vicinity of the Esquiline Hill, not far from the church of San 
Martino, like the houses mentioned before and after. 

* A "lake of Orfeus" is included in the region of the Esquiline by topographers of 
the fourth century. A church of Santa Lucia in Orphea stood later near the church 
of San Martino. 

^ This is, of course, the great Council of Nicea. The idea that Photinus and Sabel- 
lius, as well as Arius, were condemned by the council originated with the authors of 
the popular, unhistorical lives of Sylvester, who were concerned to make their hero 
crush as many errors as possible. 


in the city of Rome ^ and he condemned a second time Calistus and 
Arrius and Fotinus and Sabellius ; and he decreed that an Arian 
priest who became convinced of his error should not be received 
except by the bishop of his particular locality ; and that the chrism 
should be consecrated only by the bishops ; and he established the 
privilege of the bishops, that they should anoint those who had 
been baptised ^ to avert the propagation of heresy.^ 

He furthermore decreed that a priest might anoint with the 
chrism one who had been baptised and taken from the water, in 
case of the approach of death. 

He decreed that no layman should presume to bring a charge 
against one of the clergy.^ 

He decreed that deacons should wear dalmatics ^ in church and 
napkins of mixed wool and linen over their left arms.® 

He decreed that no member of the clergy should enter a court 
for any cause whatever or plead his case before a civil judge, unless 
it were in a church.^ 

He decreed that the sacrifice of the altar should be performed 
not upon a cloth of hair nor one that was colored, but only upon 

* On this Council of Rome see Introduction, p. ix. The records of the council and 
of the canons promulgated by it and by Sylvester at this time are fabrications of the 
age of Symmachus, intended to provide sanction for episcopal claims and to exalt the 
episcopal office in general. They are the oldest set of apocryphal canons in existence 
dealing with matters of church discipline. Duchesne, op. cit., p. cxxxiv. 

2 I.e. administer the sacrament of confirmation. 

' A free translation of an enigmatical clause, "propter hereticam suasionem." 

* On its face an impossible decree. The councils of this and later periods issued 
stipulations as to the methods to be employed in bringing suit against members of the 
higher clergy. 

^ The dalmatic worn by a Roman deacon as well as by a bishop at this time, a long, 
flowing tunic with wide sleeves, is pictured in many church frescoes and mosaics. It 
was, as the name indicates, originally an Oriental garment, introduced into Rome during 
the second century and worn in pubHc first apparently by the emperor Commodus. 
It was distinguished by a purple stripe, which ran over each shoulder and down to the 
bottom of the skirt on both sides and sometimes around the edge of the sleeve. Pope 
Symmachus (498-519) granted to St. Caesarius of Aries the privilege of clothing his 
deacons in dalmatics like those worn by the deacons at Rome. Lowrie, op. cit., pp. 

^ The towel or napkin carried by the deacon for use in his part of the service be- 
came in course of time the maniple. Lowrie, op. cit., pp. 410-413. 

^ The word translated civil is "cinctum," i.e. clad in official robes. This spurious 
decree represents an effort to oblige the clergy to bring their suits to the episcopal 
courts. There is no parallel to it in authentic records. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 190, n. 23. 


linen sprung from the earth, even as the body of our Lord Jesus 
Christ was buried in pure linen cloth ; ^ , 

thus mass should be celebrated. | 

He decreed that anyone who wished to advance or make prog- 
ress in the church must be a reader 30 years, ^ an exorcist 30 days,^ 
an acolyte 5 years, a subdeacon 5 years, 

a custodian of the martyrs 5 
years ,^ 

a deacon 7 years, a priest 3 years ; that he must be approved on 
every hand, even by them who are without, and must have good 
witness borne to him, the husband of one wife,^ who had herself 
received the blessing of the priest, and that thus he might attain 
to the rank of bishop ; that he must not enter upon a greater or 
superior office, but accept modestly the order of rank by years, 
and he must have the goodwill and favor of all the clergy with no 
one anywhere in the clergy 

or among the faithful | 

* Mosaics of- the sixth and seventh centuries in the churches of San Vitale and San 
ApoUinare in Classe in Ravenna show the early table altar set with chalice and bread 
and covered with a white linen cloth. 

2 Some manuscripts give, "first a doorkeeper, then a reader," etc. There is much 
variation in the figures throughout the passage. An authentic decree of Pope Zosimus 
in 418 states what was undoubtedly the accepted system. A man who had been 
dedicated to the church from infancy must remain a reader until his twentieth year. 
If an adult desired to enter the clergy, he must serve as reader and exorcist for five 
years. Thereafter he must be acolyte and subdeacon four years and deacon five years. 
From the priesthood he might be elevated to the bishopric if his life were holy and he 
had been married but once, not to a widow, and had never been a penitent. Duchesne, 
op. cil., p. 191, n. 25 ; Mansi, Amplissima Colledio, vol. IV, p. 347 ; Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, 
p. 50, 339. C/. supra, p. 35 and n. i. 

3 Two manuscripts read, "afterward an exorcist for the time required by the 
pontiff;" two others, "afterward an exorcist for the time which the bishop may 
appoint." Mommsen, Lib. Pont., p. 51, notes. 

* It seems probable that the care of the tombs of the martyrs in the vicinity of 
Rome was entrusted to subdeacons at the opening of the sixth century. Gregory 
of Tours often speaks of the "martyrarii " who performed a similar duty in the church 
of Gaul. Duchesne, ibid., n. 25. 

^ Early in the fourth century both popes and councils took the position that no man 
could be ordained who had been married more than once or had espoused a widow. 
Duchesne, ibid., n. 26. 


opposed to him. He held 6 
ordinations | orders 

of priests and deacons in the month of December, 42 priests, 27 

deacons at different times in the city of Rome, 65 bishops in divers 


In his time Constantine Augustus built the following basilicas 

and adorned them : 

the Constantinian basilica,^ where he offered the following gifts : 
a ciborium of hammered silver, which has upon the front 
the Savior seated upon a chair, in height 5 feet, weighing 
120 lbs., and also the 12 apostles, who weigh each ninety 
pounds and are 5 feet in height and wear crowns of purest 
silver; further, on the back, looking toward the apse are 
the Savior seated upon a throne in height 5 feet, of purest 
silver, weighing 140 lbs., and 4 angels of silver, ^ 

which weigh each 105 
lbs. and are 5 feet in 
height and have jewels 
from Alabanda ^ in their 
eyes and carry spears ; 

which are each 5 feet in height 
upon the sides and carry 
crosses and weigh each 105 
lbs. and have jewels from 
Alavanda in their eyes ; 

^ San Giovanni in Laterano. As early as 313 a council called to try the case of 
the Donatist heretics under Pope Miltiades met " in the house of Fausta in the Lat- 
eran." Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 28, 313. Fausta was the wife of Constantine. The 
basilica erected on the site was first called Constantinian in the record of the Roman 
synod of 487. Mommsen, op. cit., p. xxvii and n. 4. Needless to say no vestiges 
of this first basilica are visible in the present structure. The former fell to the 
ground in 877 and was rebuilt once in the tenth century, twice in the fourteenth and 
thoroughly "restored" in the seventeenth and nineteenth. For a description of the 
several basilicas ascribed in our text to Constantine see Gregorovius, History of 
Rome, vol. I, pp. 88-112. 

2 The figure of Christ seated in the midst of his apostles was represented often in 
the catacombs and on the sarcophagi of the fourth century. The mosaic of the apse 
of the church of Santa Pudenziana dates from the end of that century. Christ en- 
throned between angels was, for some reason, a subject less frequently chosen. A 
nave mosaic of San ApoUinare Nuovo at Ravenna, built for Theodoric about the year 
500, shows the latter scene, the attendant angels carrying spears, as here. This 
ciborium of Constantine was destroyed by Alaric's Gauls and replaced by one given 
by the emperor Valentinian in the pontificate of Xystus III. See infra, p. 95, n. i. 

' A city in Caria, now .A.rab-Hissar. 



the ciborium itself 
weighs 2025 lbs. of 
wrought silver ; a 
vaulted ceiling of 
purest gold ; ^ 

and a lamp of pur- 
est gold, which hangs 
beneath the ciborium, 
with 50 dolphins^ of 
purest gold, weighing 
each 50 lbs., and 
chains which weigh 
25 lbs. ; 

the ciborium itself 
weighs 2025 lbs. ; 

a lamp of purest gold 
beneath the ciborium 
with 50 dolphins and 
a chain which weighs 
25 lbs. ; 

the ciborium itself, 
where stand the an- 
gels and the apostles, 
weighs 2025 lbs. of 
wrought silver ; 

a lamp of purest gold 
which hangs beneath 
the ciborium, with 50 
dolphins, which 
weighs with its chain 
25 lbs. ; 

4 crowns^ of purest gold with 20 dolphins, weighing each 
fifteen lbs. ; 

a vaulting for the basilica of polished gold, in length and in 
breadth 500 lbs. ; ^ 

7 altars of purest silver, weighing each 200 lbs. ; 

7 golden patens, weighing each thirty lbs. ; 

16 silver patens, weighing each thirty lbs. ; 

7 goblets of purest gold, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 

A single goblet of coral set all about with prases and jacinths 
and overlaid with gold, which weighs in all 20 lbs. and 
3 ounces ; 

20 silver goblets, weighing each fifteen lbs. ; 

2 pitchers of purest gold, weighing each fifty lbs. and hold- 
ing each 3 medimni ; ^ 

20 silver pitchers, weighing each ten lbs. and holding each 
one medimnus ; 

^ I.e. the vault of the ciborium from which depended the great lamp next described. 

* An ornament of lamps or chandeliers, shaped like a dolphin ; probably each dol- 
phin held a light. 

^ I.e. circular chandeliers with pendant lights. 

* The readings of this clause vary a little but none are quite intelligible. The 
vaulting is that of the half dome of the apse. 

^ The medimnus or niSifivoi was the Greek bushel, comprising about twelve 
gallons or one and one half English bushels. 


40 smaller chalices of purest gold, weighing each one lb. ; 
50 smaller chalices for service, weighing each 2 lbs. ; 
For ornament in the basilica : 

a chandelier of purest gold before the altar, wherein burns 

pure oil of nard, with 80 dolphins, weighing 30 lbs. ; 
a silver chandelier with 20 dolphins, which weighs 50 lbs., 

wherein burns pure oil of nard ; 
45 silver chandeHers in the body of the basilica,^ weighing 

each 30 lbs., wherein burns the aforesaid oil; 
on the right side of the basilica 40 silver lamps, weighing 

each 20 lbs. ; 
25 silver chandeliers on the left side of the basilica, weigh- 
ing each 20 lbs. ; 
50 silver candelabra in the body of the basiHca, weighing 

each 20 lbs. ; 
3 jars of purest silver, weighing each 300 lbs., holding 10 

medimni ; 
7 brass candlesticks before the altars, 10 feet in height, 
adorned with figures of the prophets overlaid with silver, 
weighing each 300 lbs. ; 
and for maintenance of the lights there he granted : 
the Gargilian estate in the region of Suessa,^ yielding 

every year | 

400 sol. ; 
the Bauronican estate in the region of Suessa, yielding 

360 sol. ; 
the Aurian estate in the region of Laurentum,^ yielding 500 

sol. ; 
the Urban estate in the region of Antium," yielding 240 sol. ; 

1 I.e. the central nave. The right side mentioned next would be the right aisle, 
reserved at this time for women communicants, the left side the left aisle reserved for 


2 The modern Sessa in Latium. There is a village of Garigliano in that region 


3 The modern Torre Paterno in Latium. From the opening of the second century 
to the close of the fourth the ancient villages of Laurentum and Lavinium united to 
form one municipality. 

* The modern Porto d'Anzio in Latium. Antiimi was a city in the fifth century 


the Sentilian estate in 
the region of Ardea/ 
yielding 240 sol. ; 

the estate of Castis in the region of Catina,^ yielding 1000 sol. ; 
the estate of Trapes in the region of Catina, yielding 

1650 sol. ; 
2 censers of purest gold, weighing 30 lbs. ; 
a gift of spices before the altar, every year 150 lbs. 
The holy font where Constantine Augustus was baptised ^ 

by the same bishop Silvester | 

of stone of porphyry, overlaid on every side within and with- 
out and above and as far as the water with purest silver, 
3009 lbs. 
In the centre of the font is a porphyry column, which bears a 
golden basin of purest gold, weighing 52 lbs., where is a 

flame and where | 

in the Easter season 

burns balsam, 200 lbs., and the wick is of asbestos. 
At the edge of the font 

in the baptistery | 

is a golden lamb pouring water, which weighs 30 lbs. ; 
to the right of the lamb the Savior of purest silver, 5 feet in 
height, weighing 170 lbs., and to the left of the lamb 
John, the Baptist, of silver, 5 feet in height, holding an 
inscribed scroll which bears these words: "Behold the 
Lamb of God, Behold, Who Taketh Away the Sins of 
the World," weighing 

125 lbs. ; I 100 lbs. ; 

and its bishop attended the synods at Rome. It suffered severely and dwindled in 
size during the later disorders. 

1 The colony of Ardea is mentioned as late as 223 a.d., but it sent no bishops to 
the Roman councils of the fifth century. It was evidently dechning in population 
in the interval. - Duchesne, op. cit., p. 192, n. 39. 

*The modern Poggio Catino southwest of Rieti. 

^ The most venerable part of the present Lateran baptistery is hardly older than 
the end of the fourth century and most of it dates only from Xystus III. See infra, 
p. 96. The stone font, however, is the original one stripped of its primitive decorations. 


7 silver stags pouring water/ weighing each 80 lbs. ; 
a censer of purest gold set with 49 prases, weighing 15 lbs. 
He bestowed upon the holy font : 
the estate of Festus, 

the keeper of the 
sacred bed-cham- 
ber, which Con- 
stantine Augustus 
gave him, 

in the region of Penestre,^ yielding 300 sol. ; 
the estate of Gaba in the region of Gabii,^ yielding 

202 sol. ; 
the estate of Pictae in the aforesaid region, yielding 

205 sol. ; 
the Statilian" estate in the region of Cora, yielding 300 

sol. ; 
an estate in Sicilia Taurana, in the region Paramnense,^ 

yielding 500 sol. ; 
within the city of Rome houses and 

gardens, | granaries, 

yielding 2300 sol. ; 

the estate of Bassus, yielding 120 sol. ; 

the estate of Laninae in the region of Cartioli,^ yield- 
ing 200 sol. ; 

the estate of Caculie in the region of Momentum,^ 
yielding 50 sol. ; 

1 The stags may have been set around the font with the water running into it from 
their mouths. In the Roman baths water often flowed in jets from animal heads. 

2 Probably a corrupt form for Prasneste, the modern Palestrina. A second century 
inscription in honor of one Valerius Priscus Festus has been found in the neighborhood. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 192, n. 47. 

3 The modern Castiglione, twelve miles from Rome. 

^ There was a "gens Statiha," to which belonged Titus Statilius Taurus, the friend 
of Augustus. 

5 Duchesne thinks this may be Palermo. Op. cit., p. 193, n. 51. 

6 Probably Carsioli, near the modern village Carsoli in Latium. 

"> This perhaps should read Nomentum, the modern Mentana, to which the Via 
Nomentana led. 


the Statian estate in the Sabine region,^ yielding 350 sol. ; 
the estate of Murinas in the Appian Alban region,^ yield- 
ing 300 sol. ; 
the estate of Virgo in the region of Cora, yielding 200 sol. ; 

beyond the sea : 

in the provinces of Africa : 

the estate of luncis in the Mucarian region,^ yielding 

800 sol. ; 
the estate of Capsis in the region of Capsa,^ yielding 

600 sol. ; 
the estate of Varia Sardana in the Mimnian region,^ 

yielding 500 sol. ; 
the estate of Camara? in the region of Crypta Lupi,^ 

yielding 405 sol. ; 
the estate of Numae in the region of Numidia/ } ielding 

650 sol. ; 
the estate of Sulphorata in the region of Numidia, yield- 
ing 720 sol. ; 
the estate of Walzari, an olive plantation in the region 

of Numidia, yielding 810 sol. ; 

also in Greece, in the region 

of Crete 

in Greece : 

the estate of Cefalina 
in Crete, 1 

yielding 500 sol. ; 

1 Cf. supra, p. 43, n. 8. 

2 I.e., in the Alban Hills near the Via Appia. A district still called Morena lies 
between the Via Appia and the Via Latina. 

3 Possibly the region of the Macae, a people living near the North coast. There 
were African bishops entitled "luncensis," but the situation of their diocese is not 
known. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 193, n. 55. 

* A city in the southwestern part of the modern country of Tunis. The place is 

now called Gafsa. 

8 A bishop of Mina, in the province of Mauretania, attended the council of Carthage 

in 525. Duchesne, ibid., n. 57. 

6 A corruption, perhaps, of Syrtica Leptis, i.e. the city of Leptis in the Regio Syrtica, 
the modern Tripoli. 

7 The province of Numidia, which covered much the same territory as the modem 



in Mengaulus : ^ 

the estate of Amazon, yielding 222 sol. 
At the same time Constantine Augustus built 

by request of Silvester, the 

the basihca of blessed Peter, the apostle, in the shrine of Apollo,^ 
and laid there the cofhn with the body of the holy Peter ; =^ the 
coffin itself he enclosed on all sides with bronze, which is unchange- 
able : at the head 5 feet, at the feet 5 feet, at the right side 5 feet, 
at the left side 5 feet, underneath 5 feet and overhead 5 feet : thus 
he enclosed the body of blessed Peter, the apostle, and laid it 


And above he set porphyry columns for adornment ^ and other 
spiral columns which he brought from Greece. 

1 A corrupt form. Duchesne accepts the suggestion of M. Vignoli that the island of 
Gaulus is intended, the modern Gozzo near Malta. Op. cit., p. 193, n. 60. 

2 The great Constantinian basilica of St. Peter stood with some alterations and 
many additions until it was torn down by the popes of the Renaissance to make way 
for the present edifice. The mosaic of the triumphal arch, which represented Con- 
stantine offering a model of the church to Christ, seems to have kept its place to the 
last and the stamp of the emperor was on the bricks of which the basilica was built. 
For a good brief description of old St. Peter's see Frothingham, Momiments of Christian 
i?owz€, pp. 25-29; Landsim, Destniction of Ancient Rome, pp. s^S^; Duchesne, o/i. cit., 
pp. 193-194, n. 61. The last-named quotes from some of the surviving contemporary 
descriptions of the church and reproduces a groimd plan pubHshed by Alfarano in 1590. 
There is a mass of hterature on the subject to which it is impossible to refer here. 
On the site see supra, p. 5, n. 5. 

3 The following rather confused description of the tomb of St. Peter is the oldest 
and also the fullest in existence. The sarcophagus itself, enclosed stiU to all probability 
in Constantine's bronze casing, lies in a small subterranean chamber connected by a 
deep vertical shaft with the confession beneath the present high altar. In 1594, when 
the foundations of this altar were being laid, Pope Clement VIII and three cardinals 
saw at the bottom of the shaft, which the architect had laid open, a cross of gold lying 
upon the tomb, but the pope ordered the shaft immediately filled up and it has never 
since been opened. Whether the cross was the one placed there by Constantine is not 
certain. The tomb was early made inaccessible, undoubtedly to protect it from in- 
vading marauders. 

* The porphyry columns apparently supported the ciborium above the altar, the 
spiral columns next mentioned formed a line or colonnade in front of the confession, 
separating it from the nave. Several of the latter may still be seen, adorning niches in the 
pillars that support the cupola of the present cathedral, and one is venerated in a side 
chapel. They served as models evidently for the huge bronze spiral columns of the 


He made also a vaulted roof ^ in the basilica, gleaming with 
polished gold, and over the body of the blessed Peter, above the 
bronze which enclosed it, he set a cross of purest gold, weighing 
150 lbs., in place of a measure,^ and upon it were inscribed these 
words: "Constantine Augustus and Helena Augusta this 
House Shining with like Royal Splendor a Court Sur- 
inscribed in 

clear, | 

enamelled letters upon the cross. 

He gave also ^ 4 brass candlesticks, 10 feet in height, overlaid 
with silver, with figures in silver of the acts of the apostles, 
weighing each 300 lbs. ; 
3 golden chalices, set with 45 prases 

and jacinths, | 

weighing each 12 lbs. ; 
2 silver jars, weighing 200 lbs. ; 
20 silver chalices, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 

modem baldachino. They were preserved with particular reverence because of a 
tradition that arose in the Middle Ages to the effect that they had originally stood in 
the Temple at Jerusalem. They are represented in Rafael's cartoon of the healing 
of the impotent man at the Gate Beautiful. 

^ I.e. the vaulting of the apse. 

2 "In mensure locus," an unintelligible expression. Other manuscripts give 
"in mensuram loci," which might mean that the cross was as large as the chamber 

^ The inscription is recorded nowhere else and, as it stands here, is obviously incom- 
plete. De Rossi suggests the insertion of three words and the alteration of one ending 
which would make it read, " Constantine Augustus and Helena Augusta beautify with 
gold this royal house which a court, shining with like splendor, surrounds." Mommsen, 
op. cit., p. 57, n. on line 13. Duchesne thinks that the "royal house" is the subterran- 
ean tomb chamber, which during the fourth century was probably accessible to the 
devout and not impenetrably sealed until the invasions of the fifth century ; in that 
case the surrounding court would be the basilica itself. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 195, 
n. 67. 

•* Orosius relates that during Alaric's sack of Rome in 410 the precious vessels of 
St. Peter's were deposited for safe keeping in the house of an aged, consecrated virgin. 
They were discovered by the barbarians but before they were carried off Alaric learned 
that they were the property of the apostle and restored them all in state to the basilica. 
Historia adversiitn Paganos, lib. VII, c. 39, ed. Zangemeister, Teubner, pp. 292-293. 


2 golden pitchers, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
5 silver pitchers, weighing each 20 lbs. ; 
a golden paten with a turret of purest gold and a dove/ 
adorned with prases, jacinths and pearls, 

I white stones, 

215 in number, weighing 30 lbs. ; 
5 silver patens, weighing each 15 lbs. ; 
a golden crown before the body, that is a chandeHer, with 

50 dolphins, which weighs 35 lbs. ; 
32 silver lamps in the body of the basihca, with dolphins, 

weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
for the right of the basihca 30 silver lamps, weighing each 

8 lbs. ; 
the altar itself of silver overlaid with gold, 

adorned on 
every side with 
gems, 400 in 

with 210 

adorned on 
every side with 

prases, jacinths and pearls, weighing 350 lbs. ; 
a censer of purest gold adorned on every side with jewels, 
60 in number, | 

weighing 15 lbs. 
Likewise for revenue, the gift which Constantine Augustus 
offered to blessed Peter, the apostle, in the diocese of the East : - 
in the city of Anthiocia : ^ 

the house of Datianus, yielding 240 sol. ; 

the httle house in Caene,^ yielding 20 and one third sol. ; 

the barns in Afrodisia, yielding 20 sol. ; 

the bath in Ceratheae, yielding 42 sol. ; 

the mill in the same place, yielding 23 sol. ; 

the cook shop in the same place, yielding 10 sol. ; 

1 Vessels shaped like small turrets or towers and like doves were used to enshrine 
the Host. 

2 Antioch, it will be remembered, was traditionally the seat of Peter's first bishopric. 
See sjipra, p. 4. 

' Caene, Afrodisia and Ceratheae are aU quarters of the city of Antioch. 


the garden of Maro, yielding lo sol. ; 
the garden in the same place, yielding 1 1 sol. ; 
near the city of Anthiocia : 

the property Sybilles, a gift to Augustus, yielding 322 


1 50 decades ^ of papyrus, 

200 lbs. of spices, 

200 lbs. of oil of nard, | 

35 lbs. of balsam ; 
near the city of Alexandria : 

the property Timialica, given to Constantine Augustus by 

Ambrosius, | Ambronius, 

yielding 620 sol., 

300 decades of papyrus, 

300 lbs. of oil of nard, 

60 lbs. of balsam, 

150 lbs. of spices, 

50 lbs. of Isaurian storax ; 
the property of Eutymus, who left no heir, ^ yielding 

500 sol., 

70 decades of papyrus ; 
in Egypt : ^ 

near the city of Armenia/ the property of Agapus, which 

he gave to Constantine Augustus ; 
the property of Passinopolis, yielding 800 sol., 

400 decades of papyrus, 

50 medimni of pepper, 

100 lbs. of saffron, 

150 lbs. of storax, 

200 lbs. of spices of cinnamon. 

300 lbs. of oil of nard, 

100 lbs. of balsam, 

1 The decade was apparently a package containing ten sheets. 

2 The property had, therefore, reverted to the imperial exchequer. 

^ After 386 A.D. Egypt did not form part of the administrative division of the Orient, 
as here, but constituted a separate division alone. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. cl. 
* I do not know what city is meant here. 


100 bags of flax, 
150 lbs. of cariophylum/ 
100 lbs. of Cyprian oil, 
1000 fine stalks of papyrus ; 
the property which Hybromius gave to Constantine 
Augustus, yielding 450 sol., 
200 decades of papyrus, 
50 lbs. of spices of cinnamon, 

200 lbs. of oil of nard, | 

50 lbs. of balsam ; 
in the province of the Euphrates, near the city of Cyrus : ^ 
the property of Armanazon, yielding 380 sol. ; 

the property of Obarias, 
yielding 260 sol. 

At the same time Constantine Augustus ^ built the basilica 
of blessed Paul, the apostle, at the bidding of Silvester, the bishop, 
and laid his body away there in bronze and enclosed it, as he did 
the body of the blessed Peter.'* And to this basilica he offered the 
following gifts : 

near Tarsus ^ in Cilicia : 

the island of Cordionon, yielding 800 sol. 

All the consecrated vessels of gold and silver and bronze he set 
there, as in the basihca of blessed Peter, the apostle, so also he 
ordained them for the basiUca of blessed Paul, the apostle. More- 

' Perhaps a corruption for " carpheotum," a superior kind of frankincense. 
2 Perhaps Cyrrhus, a city in Syria. 

* One manuscript reads, " Constantine Augustus and Lord Constantius Augustus 
built" etc. If Constantine really built the first basilica of St. Paul, it was a small and 
unpretentious edifice. In 386 the emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius and Arcadius 
ordered the erection of a great church on the site, which was completed early in the 
fifth century. It was destroyed by fire in 1823 and the present basilica of San Paolo 
fuori le Mura is almost entirely a latter-day reconstruction. 

■* The empty sarcophagus of St. Paul was unearthed during the work of rebuilding 
the present church. It is of marble and bears an inscription in fourth century letters, 
"PAULO APOSTOLO ET MARTYRI." The tomb lay farther outside the city 
walls than that of St. Peter and was rifled probably during the Saracen invasion, if 
not before. 

* It was evidently thought appropriate to endow the church of Paul of Tarsus 
with lands in the vicinity of his birthplace. 


over he placed a golden cross over the tomb of blessed Paul, the 
apostle, weighing 150 lbs. 

near the city of Tyre : 

the property of Comitum, yielding 550 sol. ; 
the property of Tymia, yielding 250 sol. ; 
the property of Fronimusa, yielding 700 sol., 
70 lbs. of oil of nard, 
50 lbs. of spices, 
50 lbs. of cinnamon ; 
near the city of Egypt : 

the property of Cyrios, yielding 710 sol., 
70 lbs. of oil of nard, 
30 lbs. of balsam, 
70 lbs. of spices, 
30 lbs. of storax, 
150 lbs. of oil of myrrh ; 
the property of Basilea, yielding 550 sol., 
50 lbs. of spices, 
60 lbs. of oil of nard, 
20 lbs. of balsam, 
60 lbs. of saffron ; 
the property of the island Maccabes, yielding 510 
510 stalks of fine papyrus, 
300 bags of flax. 
At the same time Constantine Augustus constructed a basiHca 
in the Sessorian palace,^ where also he 

placed and | 

enclosed in gold and jewels some of the wood of the holy cross of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and he dedicated the church under the name 
by which it is called even to this day, Hierusalem.^ In that 

1 The Sessorian palace is known to have been a residence of the empress Helena. 
Two inscriptions in her honor have been discovered there. In spite of alterations 
and mutilations the present basilica still shows traces of its origin as a private hall. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 196, n. 75. 

2 The title is now Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. In the fifteenth century an in- 
scription was still legible beneath the apsidal mosaic, which commemorated the pay- 


he offered the following gifts : | he offered these gifts : 

4 candlesticks of silver burning before the holy wood, 

like to the number of the 4 gospels, weighing each 

80 lbs. ; 
50 silver chandeliers, weighing each 15 lbs. ; 
a goblet of gold, weighing 10 lbs. ; 

5 golden chahces for service, weighing each one lb. ; 
3 silver goblets, weighing each 8 lbs. ; 

10 silver chalices for service, weighing each 2 lbs. ; 

a golden paten, weigh- 
ing 10 lbs. ; 

a silver paten overlaid with gold and set with jewels, 

weighing 50 lbs. ; 
a silver altar, weighing 250 lbs. ; 
3 silver pitchers, weighing each 20 lbs. ; 
and all the land 

about the palace he gave 
as an offering to the 
church ; 

near the palace itself, 

likewise the property of Sponsae on the Via Lavicana,'' 

yielding 263 sol. ; 
near the city of Lauren tum^ the property of Patrae, yielding 

120 sol. ; 
near the city of Nepeta^ the property of Anglesis, yielding 

150 sol. ; 
near the aforesaid city the property of Terega,** which 

yields 160 sol. ; 

ment of a vow by Valentinian, Placidia and Honoria Augusti to the "holy church 
Hierusalem." As for the relic of the cross, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing about 
348, says that fragments of the sacred wood were dispersed through all the world. 
Duchesne, ibid. 

1 Or Labicana. One of the main roads leading over the Esquiline Hill to the Latin 
town of Labicum. 

2 Cf. supra, p. 50, n. i. 

3 The modem Nepi in the upper border of the Roman province. 

* The spot may have taken its name from the river Treia, which flows by Nepi. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 196, n. 79. 


near the city of Falisca/ the property of Herculus, which 
he gave to Augustus and Augustus gave to the church 
of Hierusalem, yieldmg 140 sol. ; 
near the city of Tuder ^ the property of Angul«, yielding 
153 sol. 
At the same time he built the basilica of the holy martyr Agnes ^ 
at the request of 

Constantia,^ | 

his daughter, and a baptistery in the same place,^ where both his 
sister, Constantia, and the daughter of Augustus were baptised 

by Silvester, the bishop, 

where also he presented the following gifts : 

a paten of purest gold, weighing 20 lbs. ; 

a golden chalice, weighing 10 lbs. ; 

a chandelier of purest gold with 30 dolphins, weighing 

15 lbs.; 
2 silver patens, weighing each 20 lbs. ; 
5 silver chalices, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
30 silver chandeliers, weighing each 8 lbs. ; 

^ Now Civita Castellana. 

^ Now Todi, in Umbria. 

3 The church of Sant' Agnese on the Via Nomentana, erected over the traditional 
tomb of the virgin martyr, was rebuilt by Honorius I in the seventh century, so that it is 
now uncertain if any part of the present structure belongs to the age of Constantine. 

* The name of Constantine's daughter was Constantina. Originally an acrostic 
inscription in the apse of the basilica commemorated the dedication of the church in 
her name. Constantine's sister was Constantia. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 196, n. 80. 

^ The small, circular building, now known as the church of Santa Costanza, was 
used originally as a mausoleum but may have been intended also as a baptistery. 
The huge porphyry sarcophagus, at present in the Vatican Museum, stood in a niche 
in the wall facing the entrance and a baptismal font may have occupied the central 
space under the dome. The arrangement would then have been similar to that in the 
Lateran baptistery, and the shape of the two buildings, with their double apsed vestibules, 
is not unlike. At any rate there is no vestige of another baptistery in the vicinity. 
There is no unimpeachable account of the baptism of the princesses of Constantine's 
house, but it is not, of course, improbable that such a ceremony took place. Am- 
mianus Marcellinus tells us that in the year 360 the body of Helena, one of Constantine's 
daughters, was sent to Rome to be buried on the Via Nomentana, outside the city, 
where her sister Constantina already lay. Roman History, XXI, i ; tr. Yonge, Bohn's 
Library, p. 244. 



chandeliers of 
brass ; 

chandeliers of 
brass metal ; 

lamps of brass 
metal ; 

40 candelabra of brass overlaid with silver and adorned 

with reliefs ; 
a golden lamp with 1 2 wicks, 

which weighs 20 lbs., | 

over the font, weighing 15 lbs. ; 
likewise a gift 

for revenue : | 

all the land about the city of Fidelinae,^ yielding 160 sol. ; 
on the Via Salaria as far as the ruins, all the land 

of the holy Agnes, | 

yielding 105 sol. ; 
the land of Mucus, yielding 80 sol. ; 
the property of Vicus Pisonis, yielding 

350 sol. ; I 250 sol. ; 

the land of Casulae, yielding 100 sol. 
At the same time 

Constantine Augustus | he 

built the basilica of blessed Lawrence, the martyr,^ on the Via 
Tiburtina in the Ager Veranus over the burial crypt, and he made 
stairs of ascent and of descent to the body of the holy martyr 
Lawrence. In that place he erected an apse and adorned it with 

^ Probably FidencC, the modem Castel Giubileo, five miles from Rome, near the 
Via Salaria. 

2 The present church of San Lorenzo in Agro Verano is formed by the union of two 
ancient basilicas, which were thrown into one by Honorius III in the thirteenth century. 
The smaller of these two, which contains the present choir and covers the resting-place 
of the saint, may owe its foundation to Constantine. Little beside the columns of the 
lower floor can, however, with safety be ascribed to him, for the building was restored 
at the beginning of the fifth century and again rebuilt, with the addition of the gal- 
leries, at the close of the sixth. See infra, p. 89, n. 3 ; p. 168, n. 2. The description 
given here is interesting as one of the earliest of a confession or tomb chamber of a 
martyr in a basilica erected "ad corpus." The basilica was placed so that its altar 
stood directly over the tomb, which was reached by steps leading down below the altar. 


porphyry and the spot over the tomb he enclosed with silver and 
beautified it with railings of purest silver, which weighed looo lbs. ; 
and before the tomb itself within the crypt he set : 

a lamp of purest gold with lo wicks, weighing 20 lbs. ; 
a crown of purest silver with 50 dolphins, weighing 30 

2 bronze candlesticks, 10 feet in height, weighing each 300 
before the body of the blessed Lawrence, the martyr, images 
overlaid with silver to show his passion and silver 
lamps with 6 wicks, weighing each 15 lbs. 
In the same locality : ^ 

the property of one Quiriaces, a religious woman, which 
the fisc had seized in the time of the persecution, the 
estate of Veranus,^ yielding 160 sol. ; 
the property of Aqua Tuscia on one side, yielding 153 

sol. ; 
the property of Augustus in the Sabine region, yielding 
to the name of the Christians^ 120 sol. ; 

the property of Sul- 
furatcB ■* yielding 62 
sol. ; 

the property of Micinae belonging to Augustus, yielding 
no sol. ; 

1 Here, as in the case of the lands bestowed on Sant' Agnese, the estates, so far as 
their situation can now be determined, lay in the neighborhood of the basilica upon 
which they were conferred. 

* This is the land upon which the basilica stood. Duchesne thinks that a passage 
like this, alluding to a well-known persecution with no mention of emperor or date, is 
certainly taken from a source at least as old as the first half of the fourth century. Op. 
cit., p. cl. 

^ Duchesne believes that this passage also indicates the use of some primitive source, 
that the expression, "name of the Christians," to signify the Christian community 
antedates the persecution of Diocletian. The property here mentioned was perhaps 
a part of the possessions of the church restored to it by the Edict of Milan.^ Duchesne, 
ibid., pp. cl, cli. 

^ The name may be derived from some sulphurous springs on the Via Tiburtina, 
sixteen miles from Rome. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 198, n. 89. 



the property of Termulae, yielding 

65 sol. ; I 60 sol. ; 

the property of Aranse, yielding 70 sol. ; 

the property of Septi- 
mitus, yielding 130 
The gift which he offered : 

a golden paten, weigh- 
ing 20 lbs. ; 
2 silver patens, weigh- 
ing each 30 lbs. ; 
a goblet of purest gold, 

weighing 15 lbs. ; 
2 silver goblets, weigh- 
ing each 10 lbs. ; 
10 silver chalices for 
service, weighing 
each 2 lbs. ; 
2 silver pitchers, weigh- 
ing each 10 lbs. ; 
30 silver lamps, weigh- 
ing each 20 lbs. ; 
a jar of silver weigh- 
ing 150 lbs., holding 
2 medimni. 
At the same time Constantine 
Augustus built a basilica to the 
blessed martyrs Marcellinus, the 
priest, and Peter, the exorcist, 
at Inter duas Lauros ; also a 
mausoleum where his mother, 
Helena Augusta, was buried on 
the Via Lavicana, at the 3rd 
milestone.^ And in this place. 

At the same time Constantine 
Augustus built a basilica on the 
Via Lavicana at Inter duas Lau- 
ros to blessed Peter and Mar- 
cellinus, the martyrs ; also a 
mausoleum where the most 
blessed Augusta, his mother, 
was buried in a sarcophagus of 
porphyry, and he offered there : 

^ The remains of the mausoleum of the empress Helena and the catacomb of Santi 
Pietro e Marcellino may be seen about two miles from the Porta Maggiore at a place 


both for love of his mother and 
for veneration of the saints, he 
offered votive gifts : 

a paten of purest gold, weighing 35 lbs. ; 

4 silver candlesticks overlaid with gold, 12 feet in height, 

weighing each 200 lbs. ; 
a golden crown, that is a chandeUer, with 120 dolphins, 

weighing 30 lbs. ; 
3 golden chalices, weighing each 10 lbs., set with prases and 

jacinths ; 
2 golden pitchers, weighing each 40 lbs. ; 
an altar of purest silver, weighing 200 lbs. ; 

before the tomb of the blessed 
Helena Augusta, which is of por- 
phyry carved with images,^ 

20 silver chandeliers, weighing each 20 lbs. 

Likewise in the basilica of the 
saints Peter and Marcellinus he 
gave as a gift : 

Likewise for the aforesaid holy 
martyrs he gave to the basilica 
as a gift : 

an altar of purest silver, weighing 200 lbs. ; 
2 patens of purest gold, weighing each 15 lbs. ; 
2 silver patens, weighing each 15 lbs. ; 
a large goblet of 

the purest | 


now called Tor Pignaitara on the Via Casilina, which was formerly the Via Labicana. 
The basilica has completely disappeared. An imperial palace stood near by, "ad 
Duas Lauros," near the two laurels, in the time of Septimus Severus and was the scene 
of the assassination of Valentinian III in 455. The mausoleum is octagonal in shape 
and surmounted with a dome. In the sixteenth century Bosio saw the ruins of a great 
courtyard and portico about it, all of which have now vanished. Eusebius says that 
the body of the empress was transported in state to Rome for burial. Life oj Constatp- 
tine, Richardson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. 2, vol. I, p. 532. 

1 The huge porphyry sarcophagus which was found in the mausoleum of Helena 
was removed in the twelfth century to the Lateran by Pope Anastasius IV, who des- 
tined it for his own sepulchre. Pius VI transferred it to the Vatican, where it now 
stands near the sarcophagus from the mausoleum of Constantina. It is adorned with 
figures in relief, chiefly battle scenes. 



whereon the name of 
Augustus was engraved, 

weighing 20 lbs. ; 
a smaller goblet of gold, weighing 10 lbs. ; 
5 silver goblets, weighing each 12 lbs. ; 
20 silver chalices for service, weighing each 3 lbs. ; 
4 silver pitchers, weighing each 15 lbs. ; 
every year 900 lbs. of pure oil of nard, 

100 lbs. of balsam, 

100 lbs. of spices for incense for the aforesaid holy mar- 
tyrs, blessed Marcellinus and Peter ; 
the estate of Laurentum near the aqueduct, with a bath, and 

all the land from the Porta Sessoriana 

as far as the Via 
Penestrina, and 
from the Via Itine- 
ris Latinee as far as 
Mount Gabus ; ^ 

the travellers' road 
as far as the Via 
Latina near Mount 
Gabus, Mount Ga- 
bus itself ; 

and the travellers' 
road as far as the 
Via Latina near 
Mount Albius, 
Mount Albius it- 
self ; 

the property of Helena Augusta, yielding 1220 sol. ; 
the island of Sardinia^ with all the property 

belonging to that island, | 

yielding 1024 sol. ; 

the island of 

Mesenum ' with the property 
belonging to that island, | belonging to it, all of it. 
yielding 810 sol. ; 

1 It is impossible to form an exact idea of the area meant by this obscure description, 
though the general location is clear enough. The "aqueduct" may be either the 
Alexandrine or the Claudian, both of which pass near the Via Prasnestina and the Via 
Latina. Mount Gabus or Monte Cavo may be any one of the hollow hillocks or 
craters which dot the Campagna. Duchesne, op. cil., p. 199, n. 91. 

2 The whole island cannot have been conveyed to the basilica. Our author has 
in all likelihood omitted a list of the particular properties on the island. 

5 Duchesne suggests that the peninsular of Misenum is intended. That is so nearly 
an island that it might well pass for one in common speech. Op. ciL, p. 199, n. 93. 


the island of Matidia, which is Mount Argentarius/ yielding 

600 sol. ; 
the property in the Sabine region, which is called Duae Casae, 
at the foot of Mount Lucretius,^ yielding 200 sol. 
At the same time Constantine Augustus 

by request of Silvester, the 

built a basilica in the city of Hostia^ near Portus, the harbor city 
of Rome, to the blessed apostles Peter and Paul and to John the 
Baptist, where he offered the following 

gifts : I 

a silver paten, weighing 30 lbs. ; 
10 silver chalices, weighing each 

two lbs. ; I 5 lbs. ; 

2 silver pitchers, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
30 silver 

chandeliers, | lamps, 

weighing each 5 lbs. ; 
2 silver goblets, weighing each 8 lbs. ; 
a single silver paten for the chrism, weighing 10 lbs. ; 
a bowl of silver for baptism, weighing 20 lbs. ; 
the island which is called Assis,^ which lies between Portus 

and Hostia ; 
all the property along the sea as far as Digitus Solis,^ yielding 

655 sol. ; I 300 sol. ; 

the property of the Greeks in the region of Ardea, yielding 80 
sol. ; 

^ Monte Argentaro on the coast of Tuscany, also a peninsular almost cut off from 
the mainland. 

2 Mount Lucretilis, now known as Monte Genaro, made famous by Horace. 

^ Ostia. Modern excavations on the site of the ancient city have not so far re- 
vealed any Christian church or monument. Portus is, of course, the modern Porto 
on the right bank of the Tiber. 

^ This is apparently the island of the delta, formed by the two branches of the Tiber 
at its mouth, but the name occurs nowhere else. 

' Unknown. 


the property of Quiritus in the region of Hostia, yielding 311 

sol. ; 
the property of Balneolum in the region of Ostia, yielding 42 

sol. ; 
the property Nymfulee, yielding 30 sol. 
Likewise that which Gallicanus ^ offered to the aforesaid basilica 
of the holy apostles Peter and Paul and of John the Baptist; 
he offered the following : 

a silver crown with dolphins, weighing 20 lbs. ; 
a silver chaHce carved in rehef, weighing 15 lbs. ; 
a silver pitcher, weighing 18 lbs. ; 

the estate MalUanum^ in 
the Sabine region, yield- 
ing 115 and one third 
sol. ; 

the estate Picturae 

in the region of Vellitrai,^ yielding 43 sol. ; 
the estate of the Suri on the Via Claudia in the region of 

Veii,^ yielding 56 sol. ; 
the Gargihan estate in the region of Suessa,^ yielding 655 
At this time Constantine Augustus built the basiUca of holy 
John the Baptist in the city of Alba^ and offered there the follow- 
ing : 

1 The Acts of St. Gallicanus, composed later than the Lib. Pont, and in part 
based upon it, ascribed to him the building of a basilica and hospital at Ostia. It 
seems likely that the legendary saint is a reminiscence of the historical character 
Pammachius, the proconsul and senator, who built a church and hospital at Porto 
toward the end of the fourth century and also the church over the house of the martyrs 
John and Paul on the Coelian Hill at Rome. The charitable institution at Porto is 
the earliest of the kind known. The site has been explored sufficiently to show the 
general plan : a basilica opening off a square court with rooms and halls for the poor 
and sick arranged about it. Duchesne, op. cil., p. 199, n. 99. Frothingham, Monu- 
ments of Christian Rome, pp. 48, 49. 

2 Magliano, the present seat of the bishopric of Sabinum. 

3 Velitrse, now Velletri in Latium. 

* The ancient Etruscan town stood near the site of the modern village of Isola. 
5 A property of the same name and situation is included among the lands bestowed 
upon the Lateran basilica. Supra, p. 49. 

«Albano in Latium. Some traces of Constantine's basilica are said to be still 


a silver paten, weighing 30 lbs. ; 

a goblet of silver gilt, weighing 12 lbs. ; 


silver | 

chalices for service, weighing each 3 lbs. ; 
2 silver pitchers, weighing each 20 lbs. ; 
the property of the Lake of Turnus^ with the adjacent fields, 


the estate of Molae,^ 
60 sol. ; 

50 sol. ; 
the property 

at Alba with the [ 

Lake of Alba,^ yielding 250 sol. ; 
the estate of Mucus, yielding 

160 sol. ; I 170 sol.; 

all the empty barracks or houses belonging to the munici- 
pality^ in the town of Alba, 

everything in the neighborhood were offered as gifts to the holy 
of the church of Constantine, church of Constantine; 
was offered by Augustus ; 

the property of Hortus, yielding 20 sol. ; 

the property of Tiberius Caesar, yielding 280 sol. ; 

visible. De Rossi has proved that the Christian church of Albano originated probably 
in the camp of the Second Parthian Legion, which was stationed there during the third 
century. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 199, n. 103. 

1 The Laghetto di Turno, with its recollections of the ^neid, lies about two 
miles from Albano. Funeral inscriptions have been found there testifying to the exist- 
ence of a rural Christian community in the sixth century. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 200, 
n. 104. 

2 A place called II Molo is now about a mile from Albano. 
' The famous Lago di Albano. 

* These are undoubtedly the buildings left empty by the departure of the Second 
Parthian Legion and the population of camp-followers and dependents. See supra, 
p. 67, n. 6. The word translated barracks is " schenica " or " scenica," which here 
has its original Greek sense of tents or camps, rather than its ordinary Latin associa- 
tion with theatres and actors. 


the property of Marinee/ yielding 50 sol. ; 

the estate of Nemus,^ 
yielding 280 sol. ; 

the property of Amartianae in the region of Cora, yielding 1 50 

sol. ; 
the Statilian property, yielding 70 sol. ; 
the Median property, yielding 30 sol. 
At the same time Constantine Augustus built a basilica of the 
apostles within the city of Capua,^ which he called the Constantinian 
basilica, and there also he offered the following gifts : 

2 silver patens, weighing each 20 lbs. ; 

3 silver goblets, weighing each 9 lbs. ; 

15 chalices for service, weighing each 2 lbs. ; 
2 silver pitchers, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 

4 bronze candlesticks, 10 feet in height, weighing each 180 

30 silver chandeliers, weighing each 5 lbs. ; 
30 bronze chandeliers ; 
And he offered certain property : 

the Statilian estate in the region of Menturnae,* yielding 315 

sol. ; 
a property in the region of Gaeta,^ yielding 85 sol. ; 
the property of Paternum in the region of Suessa, yielding 

150 sol. ; 
the property of Ad Centum® in the region of Capua, yielding 

60 sol. ; 
a property in the region of Suessa Gauronica,^ yielding 40 sol. ; 
the property of Leo, yielding 60 sol. 

* At Marino, near Albano. 

2 The place may have some connection with the Lake of Nemi. 
' There are no visible remains of Constantine's church in the modem Santa Maria 
di Capua. 

* Minturnae, a town in Latium, the ruins of which are to be seen near the modern 

^ The ancient Caieta, now Gaeta in Latium. 

' This name does not signify, as might be supposed, "At the hundredth milestone," 
for Capua is 132 miles from Rome by way of the Via Appia, 138 by the Via Latina. 
Duchesne, op. cit.. p. 200, n. 114. 

^ Unquestionably a corruption for Suessa Aurunca, the full title in ancient times of 
the modem Sessa. 


At the same time Constantine Augustus built a basilica in the 
city of Naples,^ to which he offered the following : 
2 silver patens, weighing each 

15 lbs.; I 25 lbs.; 

2 silver goblets, weighing each ten lbs. ; 
15 chalices for service, weighing each 2 lbs. ; 
2 silver pitchers, weighing each fifteen lbs. ; 
20 silver lamps, weighing each 8 lbs. ; 
20 bronze lamps, 

weighing each 10 lbs. 

He built likewise an aqueduct, 8 miles in length ; he built also a 

in the same city ^ | 

and he offered the following gift : 

the property of Macarus, yielding 150 sol. ; 

the Cimbrian property, yielding 105 sol. ; 

the property of Sclina, yielding 108 sol. ; 

the property of Afila;, yielding 140 sol. ; 

the property of.Nymfulae, yielding 90 sol. ; 

the property of the island^ with the fortress, yielding 80 sol. 

At the same time the blessed Silvester established his parish 

church^ in the city of Rome in the Third District, near the baths of 

Domitian, which are called aiso the baths of Trajan ; the parish 

church of Silvester, to which Constantine Augustus gave : 

1 The basilica may have stood on the site of the church of Santa Restituta, the 
medieval cathedral of Naples. 

* A Neapolitan inscription in honor of Constantine has been discovered and two in 
honor of Helena, but they contain no allusion to public works of this sort. Duchesne, 
op. cil., p. 200, n. 116. 

' Possibly the island of Nisida between Naples and Pozzuoli, called in classic 
times "Nesis" or N^o-os, i.e., "the island," without other name. 

^ The church already described on p. 42. The Third District may be either the 
civil or ecclesiastical division, for the Third Region of Augustus comprehended this 
neighborhood. The list of precious vessels and lamps is not dissimilar to the inventory 
already given for this church, although the latter is longer. The two lists of lands of 
the church are, however, quite different, as may be seen by comparison. The author 
may have made two sets of extracts from the same document or may have drawn from 
two different documents of different dates. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 200, n. 119. 


a silver paten, weighing 20 lbs. ; 

a silver pitcher, weighing 10 lbs. ; 

2 silver goblets, weighing each 8 lbs. ; 

10 silver chandeHer^ weighing each 5 lbs. ; 

16 bronze candelabra, weighing each 40 lbs. ; 

5 silver chaHces for service, weighing each 2 lbs. ; 

the Percilian estate in the Sabine reg'on, yielding 50 sol. ; 

the Barbatian estate in the region of Ferens,^ yielding 35 and 

one third sol. ; 
the Statian estate in the region of Tribula,^ yielding 66 and 

one third sol. ; 
the estate of Beruclae in the region of Cora, yielding 40 sol. ; 
the Sulpician estate in the region of Cora, yielding 70 

sol. ; 
the estate of Taurus in the region of Beii,^ yielding 42 sol. ; 
the Sentian estate in the region of Tibur,^ yielding 30 sol. ; 
the Ceian estate in the region of Penestre,^ yielding 50 

sol. ; 
the estate of Termulae in the region of Penestre, yielding 35 

sol. ; 
the property of Cylon in the region of Penestre, yielding 59 
He offered also all that was requisite to the parish church of 

This Silvester held 6 ordinations in the month of December, 42 
priests, 26 deacons, 65 bishops in divers places. 

He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla^ on the Via Salaria, 

1 Ferentinum, now Ferentino, a small town on the Via Latina. 

2 Trebula was the name of three ItaHan towns, one in Campania, now Maddaloni, 
the others in Sabinum, one of which is now Monte Leone, the last has disappeared. 
Duchesne is of the opinion that the second of the three is meant here. Op. ciL, p. 200, 
n. 122. 

3 Veii. 

■* The modern Tivoli. 

* Praeneste, now Palestrina. 

^ The little church which stood over the catacomb of Priscilla was known as the 
church of St. Sylvester in the early Roman topographies drawn up for the guidance of 
pilgrims. The Itinerary ascribed to William of Malmesbury mentions Sylvester's 
marble tomb. The site is vacant and grassgrown to-day. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 200, 
n. 123. 


three miles from the city of Rome, December 31, He verily died 
cathohc and a confessor.^ 

And the bishopric was empty 15 days, 

XXXV. Marcus (336) 

Marcus, by nationaHty a Roman, son of Priscus, occupied the 
see 2 years, 8 months and 20 days. He was bishop in the time of 
Constantine, during the consulship of Nepotianus and Facundus 
(a.d. 336), from February i until October i. 

He ordained that the bishop of Hostia, who consecrates the 
bishop, should wear the pallium and that by him the bishop of the 
city of Rome should be consecrated.^ And he made regulations 
for the whole church. 

He built two basilicas, one on the Via Ardeatina, where he is 
buried,^ and one in the city of Rome, in Pallacinis.'* 

1 These words testify to the unusual veneration for the memory of Pope Sylvester. 
In 1632 a silver "corona" of ancient workmanship, bearing a votive inscription to "the 
holy Silvester," was found in a garden adjacent to Sylvester's parish church, San 
Martino ai Monti. Duchesne thinks that the offering may have dated from the latter 
half of the fifth century. The spurious lives of the pope, with their miracles and mar- 
vels, may have increased popular reverence but the feeling seems to have existed before 
the legends. Unfortunately, in spite of the length and importance of Sylvester's 
pontificate, there are no authentic documents left to furnish us with an idea of the part 
he actually played in the stirring events of his day or with more than the vaguest no- 
tion of the situation at Rome under Constantine. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 201, n. 125. 

2 In the time of Augustine the bishop of Ostia regularly performed the ceremony 
of consecrating the pope and he retains that right to this day. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., 
vol. I, p. 203, n. 2. The use of the pallium or scarf by the bishop seems to have been 
derived from the use of the pallium as badge of office by the civil magistrates of the 
fourth and fifth centuries, as depicted on consular diptychs of the period. The earUest 
writer to refer to the ecclesiastical pallium is St. Isidore of Pelusium about 440. He 
speaks of the symbolical significance of the garment as of something well known. In 
the sixth century Symmachus and succeeding popes sent pallia to other bishops. 
Frescoes and mosaics of that century at Rome and Ravenna uniformly portray these 
scarves on the shoulders of bishops. Their use was not confined to archbishops until 
the ninth century. Lowrie, Christian Art and Archeology, pp. 407-410. 

3 The small cemeterial church of Santa Balbina near the catacomb of Callistus. It 
has now disappeared. 

* The modern church of San Marco. It is impossible to attribute anything in 
the present edifice to the fourth century. The mosaic in the apse dates only from the 
reconstruction of the church in the ninth century. However, Pope Hadrian IV in 
794 cited the mosaics and paintings in the basilica of his day as proofs of the use of 
images at Rome in the time of the Council of Nicea. Mansi, Amplissima Collectio, 


* * * * * * * *i 

He also was buried in the cemetery of Balbina on the Via 
Ardeatina, which he himself had supervised and built, October 6. 
And the bishopric was empty 20 days. 

XXXVI. Julius I (337-352) 

Julius, by nationahty a Roman, son of Rusticus, occupied the 
see 15 years, 2 months and 6 days. He was bishop in the time of 
Constantinus, son of Constantine, the heretic, from the consulship 
of Felicianus (a.d. 337) and of Maximin.^ He endured many tribu- 
lations and was in exile 10 months and after the death of this Constan- 
tinus he returned in glory to the seat of blessed Peter, the apostle.^ 

He built 2 basilicas, one 

in the city of Rome, 
near the forum ,^ 

and another across the Tiber ^ 

and another on the Via Fla- 

vol. XIII, p. 801. The name of the region where the church was built is as old as 
Cicero, who says that Sextus Roscius was killed on his way from dinner "ad balneas Pal- 
lacinas," near the Pallacine baths. Pro Roscio, VII, i8. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 203, 
nn. 5 and 6. 

1 A catalogue of gifts bestowed by the emperor Constantine upon the church of 
Santa Balbina and the list of the clergy ordained by Marcus have been omitted. Here- 
after such lists, unless possessing unusual interest or value, will not be included in the 
translation. Those already furnished will serve as types. 

2 The Liberian Catalogue has this, "in the time of Constantine, from the consulship 
of Felicianus and Titianus (a.d. 337), from February 6 to April 12 in the year when 
Constantius was consul for the fifth time and Constantius was Caesar (a.d. 352)." 

3 The author of the Lib. Pont, has inserted here a sentence which would be more 
appropriate in the history of Liberius, the next pope, who was in fact driven into exile 
through the influence of an heretical emperor. Pope Julius, on the contrary, was sup- 
ported throughout his pontificate by the orthodox Constans and after the latter's 
death by Magnentius. He played an authoritative part in the doctrinal controversies 
which in his day were distracting the Eastern branch of the church. 

^ The church was rebuilt by Pelagius I in honor of the apostles, Philip and James, 
and is now known as Santi Apostoli. Infra, p. 162, n. 2. It stands on the edge of the 
ancient forum of Trajan. 

^ The modern basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, rebuilt by Gregory IV in the 
ninth century and by Innocent II in the twelfth. It is called in the Lib. Pont, the 
basiUca of Julius until the eighth century, when it is styled the basilica of Mary. The 
first church on the site was probably erected by Callistus but, built in an era of perse- 


and 3 cemeteries, one on the Via Flaminia, another on the Via 
Aurelia and another on the Via Portuensis.^ 

He made a regulation that no member of the clergy should plead 
any case in pubhc except in a church,^ and that the information 
which concerns all in the faith 

of the church | 

should be collected by notaries, and that all documents should be 
duly recorded in church by the chief of the notaries ; whether bonds 
or instruments or deeds of gift or of exchange or of delivery or wills 
or rescripts or manumissions of a member of the clergy, they should 
be recorded in church within the sacred archives.^ 

* * •* * * * * *4 

He also was buried on the Via Aurelia in the cemetery of Cale- 
podus ^ at the third milestone 

from the city of Rome, [ 

April 12. 

And the bishopric was empty 25 days. 

cution, it was perhaps only a small and unobtrusive hall of meeting. See supra, p. 20, 
n. s. 

1 The first of these three suburban foundations was the great basilica of San Valen- 
tino, two miles beyond the city gate of the same name. It is mentioned in the early 
pilgrim itineraries as a church of exceptional size and beauty but by the fourteenth 
century it was already in ruins and now hardly a vestige is left above ground. Recent 
excavations have disclosed the pavement of the nave and apse and have revealed among 
other objects an epitaph set up in 359, only seven years after the death of Julius. The 
second of the extramural churches was probably built above the cemetery of Calepodio, 
where Julius was buried, the third may have been the basilica of Felix, now also dis- 

* A repetition of the apocryphal decree already ascribed to Sylvester. Supra, p. 45, 
and n. 7. 

^ An attempt to require all members of the clergy to register deeds, wills and other 
legal documents in the episcopal court instead of in the municipal. There is no other 
account of such a decree. Our text may record a custom or a policy which grew up 
gradually rather than a formal enactment. It is likely that there was jealousy be- 
tween the ecclesiastical and civil tribunals and some overlapping of jurisdiction. 
Duchesne, Lih. Pont., vol. I, p. 206, n. 10. 

^ List of ordinations. 

^ Pope Callistus had been buried there. Supra, p. 21, n. i. 


XXXVII. LiBERius (352-366) 

Liberius, by nationality a Roman, son of Augustus, occu- 
pied the see 6 years, 3 months and 4 days. He was bishop in 
the time of Constantius, son of Constantine, to Constantius 

Augustus III.^ 

He was sent into exile by Constantius because he refused to 
consent to the heresy of Arius, and he was in exile 3 years. And 
Liberius summoned together the priests and by their counsel or- 
dained in his stead Felix, the venerable priest and bishop.^ And 
Felix held a council and found two priests, Ursacius and Valens by 
name, in sympathy with Constantius Augustus, the Arian, and in 
the council of the 48 bishops he expelled them.^ 

1 The Liherian Catalogue ends here with the date of the opening of the pontificate 
of Liberius, 352. 

2 The history of Liberius and Felix, as given in our text, is a strange medley of 
facts and legend. The actual occurrences seem to have been the following. Liberius, 
early in his pontificate, was required by the emperor to recognize the Eastern Arian 
bishops as members of the same communion. On his refusal he was condemned 
to exile and spent three years in banishment in Thrace. The Roman clergy 
meanwhile bound themselves by oath to accept no other bishop during his life- 
time. However, the archdeacon Felix shortly afterward came to an understanding 
with the emperor and was ordained bishop in Liberius' stead and accepted by most of 
the clergy in the city. The Roman people, on the other hand, remained loyal to 
Liberius and demanded his recall of Constantius, when the latter visited the city in 
357. Liberius now proved willing to give certain pledges of tolerance and returned to 
Rome in 358 to receive an enthusiastic welcome. It was planned at first that Liberius 
and Felix should share the duties and prerogatives of the bishopric but outbreaks of 
violence followed the attempt at compromise and Felix was compelled to leave the city. 
Later he tried to get possession of the basihca of Julius, Santa Maria in Trastevere, 
but was forced to retire. He died in November, 365. Liberius was inclined to be for- 
giving and restored the adherents of FeHx to their original posts, but many of his party 
were less placable. On the death of Liberius in 366 a schism broke out, the bitter 
enemies of Felix chose Ursinus as pope, the moderates, who had upheld the pacifist policy 
of Liberius, chose Damasus. See infra, pp. 79-80. For a discussion of the process 
by which the legendary version of these incidents has been evolved and Felix has been 
transformed from a heretic supplanter of Liberius to an orthodox saint installed by 
Liberius' own hands, as in our text, see Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. cxx-cxxv. 
A summary of Liberius' correspondence with Constantius and with other bishops 
on these matters may be found in Jaffe, Regesta, pp. 33-35, 208-228. 

3 The real Ursacius and Valens were bishops of Belgrade and Eszek respectively and 
the chief representatives of the Arian sect in the West. They had been condemned 
by the Council of Sardica under Pope Julius but were readmitted to communion by 
Felix in fulfilment of his agreement with the emperor. The story given in the Lib. 
Pont, is therefore an exact reversal of the truth. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 208, n. 6. 


But after a few days Ursacius and Valens were impelled by zeal 
to beseech Constantius Augustus to recall Liberius from exile that 
he might maintain one single communion 

but without baptising a second apart from the second baptism, 

Then authority was sent by Catulinus, the commissioner,^ and 
Ursacius and Valens went together to Liberius. And Liberius 
accepted the commands 

of Augustus I 

that he should extend the one 
single I 

communion to the heretics, provided only that they should not 
administer the second baptism. 

Then they recalled Liberius from exile. 

And on his return 

from exile | 

Liberius dwelt in the cemetery of the holy Agnes in the household 

of the sister 

of Constantius 1 of Constans 

Augustus,^ as if he thought that through her intervention or at her 

request he might come again into the city. 

Then Constantia Augusta, who was faithful to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, would not make request of Constantius Augustus, her 
brother, because she understood his design. 

At that time Constantius, in company with Ursacius and Valens^ 
assembled some men who belonged to the dregs of the Arians and, 
pretending that he had held a council, sent and recalled Liberius 
from the cemetery of the blessed Agnes. And that same hour 

1 I.e. Liberius was not expected to demand the second baptism of all Catholics 
who chose to join the Arian sect, as the Arians themselves did. 

2 The title here translated commissioner is "agentem in rebus," i.e. one of the agents 
of the imperial police instituted by Diocletian. They were employed often on business 
connected with the general administration. 

3 The fact that Liberius decorated the tomb of St. Agnes may have given rise 
to the idea of his sojourn at the basilica and the existence of the mausoleum of Constan- 
tina in the neighborhood may have suggested the addition of the princess. As a 
matter of fact no princess of the name of Constantia or Constantina was living in 358. 
Constantina, daughter of Constantine, died in 354. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 208, n. la 


Constantius Augustus entered Rome and held a council with the 
heretics and likewise with Ursacius and Valens and expelled Felix 
from the bishopric, for he was catholic, and reinstated Liberius. 

From that day forward there was a persecution of the clergy, 
so that priests and clergy were slain in church and were crowned 
with martyrdom.^ But FelLx, after he was deposed from the bishop- 
ric, dwelt on his own estate on the Via Portuensis and there he slept 
in peace, July 29. ^ Liberius entered the city of Rome, August 2, 
and he was in accord with Constantius, the heretic. 

Nevertheless Liberius was not baptised a second time, 

but he gave his consent. | 

And he held the basilicas of the blessed Peter and of the blessed 
Paul and the basilica of Constantine for 6 years,^ and there was a 
great persecution in the city of Rome, so that the clergy and the 
priests could enter neither a church nor a bath. 

This Liberius decorated with slabs of marble the sepulchre of 
holy Agnes, the martyr. 

Now all the years of Felix are included within the term of 
Liberius.^ He 

built the basilica of his own name 
near the Macellum of Libia ^ and 

held 2 ordinations. 

1 The extent of the disorder may be inferred from the fact that at the Council of 
Rimini in 359 there was no representative from the church of Rome. 

2 The antipope Fehx II is here confused with a popular saint Felix, of whom nothing 
is now known but the fact that he was revered in a basilica on the Via Portuensis, per- 
haps the very basihca erected just before these events by Pope Julius I. Supra, p. 74, 
n. I. Felix II died November 22, 365. For a different but equally erroneous version 
of his death and burial see infra, pp. 78, 79. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. cxxiii, cxxivi, 
209, n. 13. 

3 Liberius lived for eight years after his restoration, 358-366. 

* This sentence would seem to imply that at the date when it was written there was 
no separate account of Fehx II, such as now follows the life of Liberius, and that the 
separate account was an interpolation of one of the later editors of the Lih. Pont. The 
imtrustworthy character of the account makes this supposition plausible. 

^ Or "near the market of Livia." The famous church of Santa Maria Maggiore. 
The framework of the structure, the columns and the mosaics of the nave may still 
go back to Liberius. The church was the battleground of the warring factions under 
Damasus and underwent a thorough restoration at the hands of Xystus III. Infra, 
p. 94, n. I. 




And he was buried on the Via Salaria in the cemetery of Pris- 

September 9. | April 25. 

And the bishopric was empty 6 days. 

XXXVIII. Felix II (355-358) 

Felix, by nationality a Roman, son of Anastasius, occupied the 
see I year, 3 months and 2 days. 

He declared ^ that Constantius, son of Constantine, was a heretic 
and had been baptised a second time by Eusebius, 

bishop of Nicomedia, | of Nicomedia near Nicomedia, 

in the villa which is called Aquilone.^ And for this declaration, 
by order of the same Constantius Augustus, son of Constantine 
Augustus, he was crowned with martyrdom and beheaded. 
He built a basilica on the Via Aurelia,^ 

* List of ordained clergy. 

2 The location of the tomb of Liberius within the cemetery is unknown. Duchesne 
gives an epitaph in verse, copied by a pilgrim of the seventh century, which from in- 
ternal evidence he thinks may have been the inscription over the grave of Liberius. 
Op. cit., p. 209, n. 19. 

' For the unreliability of the succeeding narrative see supra, p. 75, n. 2, p. 77, 
nn. 2 and 4. On p. 77 Felix is depicted as dying peacefully and being buried on the Via 
Portuensis. Here he defies the emperor, suffers martyrdom and is buried in his basilica 
on the Via Aureha. As in the preceding account he was confused with a saint of the 
same name who was honored on the Via Portuensis, so here he is confused with two other 
saints, also of the same name, who shared a basilica on the Via Aurelia. It is possible 
that the story of his martyrdom was drawn from a Passion of one of the older saints. 
Pope Fehx I had also been identified with one of them. Supra, p. 33, n. i. Duchesne, 
Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. cxxiii, cxxiv. 

* The name is taken from the Chronicle of St. Jerome, who says that Constantine, 
not Constantius, was baptised near Nicomedia and died soon afterward at a villa called 
Acyron in the same neighborhood. Jerome, Chronicon, ed. Helm, in Eusebius^ Werke, 
vol. VII, pt. I, p. 234. {Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei 
Jahrhuiiderte.) Our author is here trying to defend the story of Constantine 's baptism 
at Rome {supra, pp. 42, 50) by explaining away Jerome's statement that he was 
baptised in the East. He says not only that Constantius, "son of Constantine," was 
the one baptised at Nicomedia but also that it was an heretical, second baptism. 

^ The basihca of the two saints Fehx on the Via Aurelia may have been built by 
Fehx II. Its site has not been discovered. 



two miles from the city, 
where also he is buried, 

while he was filling the office of priest, and he bought land around 
the site of that same church, which he bestowed upon the church 
which he had built. 

He also was be- 
headed, with many 
clergy and faithful, 
secretly near the 
walls of the city, be- 
side the aqueduct of 

November 1 1 , and 
thence the Christians 
with Damasus, the 
priest, stole away his 
body by night, 

and they buried him 
in his aforesaid ba- 
sihca on the Via 
Aurelia, November 15, 

He also suffered in 
the town of Cora,^ 

November 1 1 , and 
thence his body was 
stolen away by 
priests and clergy 

and was buried in the 
basilica which he 
himself had built on 
the Via Aureha, No- 
vember 20, at the 
second milestone. 

m peace. 

And the bishopric was empty 38 days. 

He also suffered in 
the town of Cora, 
with many clergy and 
faithful, secretly near 
the walls of the city, 
beside the aqueduct 
of Trajan, 

November 1 1 , and 
thence his body was 
stolen away at night 
by priests and clergy 
together with Da- 
masus, the priest, 
and was buried in his 
aforesaid basilica, 
which he himself had 
built on the Via Au- 
relia, November 20, 
at the second mile- 
stone, in peace. 

XXXIX. Damasus (366-384) 

Damasus, by nationality a Spaniard, son of Antonius, occupied 
the see 18 years, 3 months and 11 days. And at the time of his 
ordination ^ Ursinus was ordained also because of a dissension ; 

' List of ordinations. 

2 Cori in the Campagna. The festival of yet another St. Fehx was celebrated in 
the country districts near Rome. There may have been a tradition of his martyrdom 
at Cori. 

' This and the following sentence do not appear in the two earhest abridgments 



and a council of priests was held and they appointed Damasus, 
inasmuch as the multitude was powerful and very numerous, and 
thus Damasus was appointed. And they sent Ursinus from the 
city and appointed him bishop of Naples ; and Damasus abode in 
the city of Rome as bishop over the apostolic see. 
He was bishop in the time of Juhan.^ 



At the 



built two 

built two 

same time 

built two 

built a 



he built 



one to the 


two basi- 

one, near 

near the 


licas, one, 

the thea- 

theatre to 


near the 

tre, to the 

the holy 

near the 

theatre, to 



theatre, 2 

the holy 


and the 

near the 


and the 

other on 

Via Ar- 

other on 

the Via 


the Via 



of the Lib. Pont. Duchesne regards them as interpolations, inserted to make the history 
of Damasus correspond as closely as possible to that of Pope Symmachus. (C/. the 
election under Symmachus of the antipope Laurentius, i>ifra, p. ii6.) Some of the 
phrases in the two narratives are strikingly similar. Damasus' election was, of course, 
contested by Ursinus and his adherents (For the general situation see supra, p. 75, n. 2), 
but the deciding factor was not a church council but the civil government, which after 
some hesitation pronounced in favor of Damasus and sentenced Ursinus to exile. 
Ursinus was npt granted a bishopric or any other compensation, as was Laurentius, the 
rival of Symmachus. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 213, nn. 3-5. 

1 Our author is here attempting to continue the imperial synchronisms of the 
Llberian Catalogue. His attempt is not successful, since the reign of Julian fell alto- 
gether within the pontificate of Liberius. 

2 The basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso, which stands not far from the theatre of 
Pompey. A dedicatory inscription, still preserved, seems to imply that the building 
was erected on the site of Damasus' father's house. Damasus himself had been elected 
pope in the church consecrated to St. Lawrence "in Lucina," and for that reason, 
perhaps, chose the great Roman martyr for the patron of one of his own churches. 
On either side of the original structure were porticos in which were stored the archives 
and library of the Roman see. Excavations in the palace of the Cancelleria have 
recently revealed fragments of the ground plan of onepf these porticos. Damasus 
and his father before him had been connected with the custodianship of the archives 
and Damasus may, therefore, have been interested in providing an adequate home for 
them. They appear to have remained there until their removal, a century or more 
later, to the Lateran. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 213, n. 7. Frothingham, Monuments of 
Christian Rome, p. 46. 




na, "* 

where he 

where he 

where he 

is buried, 

is buried. 

is buried 
in the cat- 

and one 

He dedi- 

and the 


and the 

over the 

cated the 

other over 

and he 

other over 



the Cata- 


the Cata- 




the marble 


where lay 


where lay 


where lay 



the holy 


the holy 

bodies of 

bodies of 

bodies of 

lay the 

bodies of 

the holy 


the apos- 

bodies of 

the apos- 


and Paul, 

tles, Peter 

the apos- 

tles, Peter 



and Paul, 

tles, that 

and Paul, 

and Paul, 


is the 
Peter and 

and there 

and he 

and there 

and he 

and there 

he beauti- 


he beau- 


he beau- 

fied with 

Hshed it 

tified with 

it with 

tified with 



verses the 


verses the 

the very 


very mar- 

very mar- 


ble slab 

ble slab 





the holy 

the holy 

the holy 

bodies lay. 

bodies lay. 



^ Mommsen calls the passage, "on the Via Ardeatina . . . and one," an ancient 
interpolation taken from the account later on of Damasus' burial place and introduced 
here where it only confuses the sense. Lib. Pont., p. 83, note on 1. 7. The location of 
the cemetery of Damasus, near that of Domitilla, is known but all sign of his basilica 
has disappeared. 

^ The basilica of San Sebastiano on the Via Appia, built to commemorate the tomb 
of the martyr Sebastian, and the "Platonia," the crypt where the bodies of Peter and 
Paul are said to have lain during the persecution begun by Valerian. See supra, p. 26, 
n. 2 ; Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, pp. 345-347. The basilica has since been 
completely rebuilt. 

3 The inscription of Damasus at this spot was often copied by pilgrims. It is 


He searched out many bodies of the saints and found them 
and marked them with verses.^ 

He made a regulation for the church. 
He was accused 

spitefully | 

and charged with adultery and a synod was called and he was jus- 
tified by 44 bishops, who also condemned Concordius and Callis- 
tus, the deacons, his accusers, and 

expelled I ejected 

them from the church.^ 

He appointed the basilica which he had built as a parish church 
in the city of Rome.^ 

* * * * * * **4 

He appointed that the psalms should be chanted day and night 
in all the churches and he gave this command to priests and bishops 

printed by Duchesne, op. ciL, p. civ, n. i. The following is a rough rendering in 

"This place, you should know, was once the dwelling of saints; 

Their names, you may learn, were Peter and likewise Paul. 

The East sent hither these disciples, as freely we confess. 

For Christ's sake and the merit of His blood they followed Him among the stars 

And sought the realms of heaven and the kingdoms of the righteous. 

Rome was deemed worthy to preserve them as her citizens. 

May Damasus offer them these verses, new stars, in theix praise ! " 

1 At the time when the Liber Pontificalis was written the beautiful inscriptions of 
Damasus still marked almost all of the numerous shrines and tombs of saints and 
martyrs that filled the environs of the city and were the resorts of pilgrims and sight- 
seers. Already the identity of some sepulchres had been confused, others had been 
buried deep and altogether forgotten and his work of restoration and identification 
came in the nick of time. Frothingham, op. ciL, pp. 45, 46. De Rossi has made a 
collection of the Damasian inscriptions as far as they can be recovered. Inscripliones 
Christiana: Urbis RomcE, vol. II. 

2 Pope Damasus was accused in his old age of some grave offence, but the charge was 
brought by a converted Jew, not by his deacons, and the case was tried before the 
prefect of Rome, not before a church council. The emperor Gratian intervened and 
Damasus was acquitted. The nature of the indictment is not known, but it seems un- 
likely to have been adultery. Damasus was about seventy-five years old at the time. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 214, n. 15. 

3 I.e. San Lorenzo in Damaso. It is mentioned as a "titulus," or parish church, 
in the documents of the Roman synod of 499. 

* Lists of gifts to the basilica and of ordinations. 



and monasteries.^ He also was buried on the Via Ardeatina in his 
own basilica, December 11, near his mother and his sister,^ 
And the bishopric was empty 31 days. 

XL. SiRicius (384-399) 

Siricius, by nationahty a Roman, son of Tiburtius, occupied the 
see 15 years. He made a regulation for the whole church 

and sent it through the prov- 

He ordained 

that without the leaven conse- 
crated by the bishop of the dis- 
trict no priest could perform the 
rite of consecration.^ 

against all the heresies and sent 
it throughout the entire world, 
that it might be preserved in 
the archives of every church 
for a defense against all here- 

that no priest could perform 
masses during all the week, 
unless he received from the 
bishop of the particular dis- 
trict the consecrated sign which 
is called the leaven. 

1 This decree is an interpolation, suggested by the existence in later times of two 
apocryphal letters written ostensibly by Damasus and St. Jerome to one another on the 
subject of Jerome's edition of the Psalter. The earliest text of the Lihcr Poniificalis 
attributed the institution of the recitation of the Psalms to Celestine I. See injra, 
p. 92. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 214, n. 17. 

'^Cf. supra, p. 81, n. i. Damasus' own epitaph and the tender one he wrote 
for his young sister Irene, whose death robbed him of the fear of death, have both 
survived. His mother's has been lost. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 215, n. 18. 

» The following letters written by Siricius and containing general instructions for the 
government of the church are still preserved : one to the bishop of Tarragona giving 
fifteen canons for the churches in Spain, Gaul and Carthage, another to the church in 
Africa reporting the decrees of the synod held at the Vatican in 386 and others to the 
bishops in lUyria and to the orthodox throughout the provinces respecting the need 
of care in ecclesiastical appointments. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, pp. 40-41, 25s, 257, 258, 
259, 263. 

* The author of this reading had, perhaps, in mind a letter addressed by Siricms to 
the church at Milan on the subject of the heretic emperor Jovinian. Jaffe, op. cit., 
p. 41, 260. 

^ A repetition in substance of the decree of Miltiades. Supra, p. 41, n. 2. 


He found Manicheans 
in the city ^ | 

and dispatched them into exile and ordained that 

they should not partake of com- 
munion with the faithful, be- 
cause the holy body of the Lord 
ought not to be mutilated in a 
polluted mouth. He ordained 

if any Manichean were converted and returned to the church he 
should in no wise be admitted to communion, except he were kept 
in the restriction of a monastery as one guilty every day of his 
life, that so he might afflict himself with fastings and prayers and 
prove himself under every trial until the day of his death and thus 
through the clemency of the church might obtain his viaticum. 
He ordained that a heretic 

should be reconciled I should be received 

through the imposition of hands in the presence of the whole 

* * * * * * * *3 

1 The second notice of Manicheans in Rome. (C/. supra, p. 41 and n. i.) That 
they were active in the time of Siricius we know from the writings of Augustine, but 
that Siricius undertook any such campaign against them as is indicated here is ex- 
tremely doubtful. At least Augustine says nothing of it. Leo I, a half century later, 
entered the lists against them, procured the exile of some and the reconciliation of 
others to the church, but his labors in this direction are not mentioned in the Liber 
Pontificalis. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 216, n. 3. 

2 This is perhaps the first of the numerous episcopal decrees cited in the Liber 
Pontificalis known to be derived from a specific and authoritative documentary source. 
It is evidently based upon the letter of Siricius to Himerius of Tarragona. "At the 
opening of your letter you stated that many who had been baptised by the impious 
Arians were hastening to adopt the Catholic faith and that some of our brethren would 
have them baptised a second time; but that is not permissible ... for we admit 
Novatians and other heretics ... to the community of Catholics by merely the invoca- 
tion of the sevenfold Spirit and the laying on of the episcopal hand." Mansi, Amplis- 
sima Collectio, vol. Ill, p. 655. Cf. Introduction, p. viii, and supra, p. 83, n. 3. The 
method of reinstating a heretic was first prescribed, according to our author, by Euse- 
bius. Supra, p. 40 and n. i. 

^ List of ordinations. 


He also was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via 
Salaria/ February 22. 

And the bishopric was empty 20 days. 

XLI. Anastasius I (399-401) 

Anastasius, by nationaHty a Roman, son of Maximus, occupied 
the see 3 years and 10 days. 

He ordained that whenever the holy gospels were read the 
priests should not sit but stand with bowed heads. ^ He made a 
regulation for the church. 

He built also the basihca which is called the Crescentian in the 
Second District on the Via Mamurtini in the city of Rome.^ 

And he ordained 

that no cleric from beyond the that no one from beyond the 
sea sea 

should be received 

I into the ranks of the clergy 
unless he showed the signature of 5 bishops 


1 In the basilica of Sylvester. Duchesne gives his epitaph. Op. cit., p. 217, n. 5. 

2 The Apostolic Constitutions, which represent the early Syrian usage, direct that 
priests and deacons shall stand during the reading of the Gospel. Sozomen, the fifth 
century historian, says that in his day the Alexandrian custom was peculiar in allowing 
the bishop to keep his seat. Ecclesiastical History, VII, 19, tr. Nicene and Post-Nicene 
Fathers, ser. 2, vol. II, p. 390. Duchesne thinks it possible that the Alexandrian 
custom was in this respect, as in others, a reflection of the custom at Rome. Lib. 
Pont., vol. I, p. 218, n. I. 

2 The site of this basilica is now unknown. It is not mentioned, at least under this 
name, after the fifth century. The Via Mamurtini is usually identified with the 
modern Via Marforio, but the latter street lies outside the Second Districts, both civil 
and ecclesiastical. 

* Gregory I, in a letter to one of his bishops, gives the following injunction. "Do 
not on any consideration accept Africans or unknown travellers who claim admission 
to ecclesiastical orders, for some of the Africans are Manicheans and others rebaptised ; 
moreover, many strangers who were actually members of the lower orders are known 
to have laid claim often to higher honors." Epistola, II, 37 ; Migne, Patrologia Latina, 
vol. 77, col. 575. The Liber Ponlificalis demands an especially high guarantee of 
honesty. In ordinary circumstances an African priest or bishop on a visit to Rome 
took with him credentials signed simply by the primate of his province or the bishop 
of Carthage in order to gain access to the communion of the Roman chureh, but more 
may have been required of one who wished to be ordained at Rome. Duchesne, op. 
cit., p. 218, n. 4. 


because at that time Manicheans 
were found in the city of Rome. 

on account of the Manicheans. 

* 1 

He also was buried in his own cemetery near the Ursus 
Pileatus,^ April 27. And the bishopric was empty 21 days. 

XLII. Innocent I (401-417) 

Innocent, by nationality an Alban, son of Innocent, occupied 
the see 15 years, 2 months and 21 days. 

He made a regulation for the whole church and statutes con- 
cerning monastic rules and concerning Jews and pagans ^ and he 
found many Catafrigians ^ 

in the city | 

whom he constrained to exile in a monastery. 

He found Pelagius ^ and Caelestius, the heretics, and con- 

1 List of ordinations. 

2 The Salzburg Itinerary, one of the early guides for pilgrims, mentions the tomb 
of Pope Anastasius on the Via Portuensis, not far from the city gate. Duchesne, op. ciL, 
p. 219, n. 5. The name of the district, Ursus Pileatus, is explained by the tale that 
there stood there once the image of a bear with a cap upon its head. Gregorovius, 
History of the City of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, bk. II, p. 256. 

3 A number of the letters and decretals of Innocent I have survived but none 
dealing particularly with monastic organization, Jews or pagans. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, 
pp. 44-49, 285-327. Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. XX. 

■* I.e. Phrygians. The Theodosian Code (lib. XVI, 5, 40) contains a law of Hono- 
rius, dated February 407, against Manicheans, Phrygians and PriscilHanists. The 
term Phrygian is used as a synonym for Montanist. 

^ The famous heretic and exponent of the doctrines of the original soundness of 
human nature and the freedom of the will as against Augustine's theories of original 
sin and absolute dependence upon divine grace. He and his friend Celestius were in 
Rome for several years before the sack of Alaric, 410. The two then crossed to Africa, 
where Celestius was tried for heresy and excommunicated by a synod called by the 
bishop of Carthage. Pelagius meanwhile had gone on to Palestine, where in time he 
too was summoned on a charge of heresy before a synod at Diospolis (Lydda) but was 
acquitted. The African church felt that a reflection was thereby cast upon its action 
in the case of Celestius and in 416 sent an appeal on the whole matter to Innocent at 
Rome. Innocent upheld the African position and denounced the peculiar tenets of 
Pelagius. His letters in reply to the appeal may be found summarized in Jaffe, op. cit., 
p. 48, 321-323. Mansi gives the entire text. Amplissima Collectio, vol. Ill, pp. 1071 
et seq. 


demned them. And he ordained that the child of a Christian 
woman must be born a second time through baptism, that is must 
be baptised, a doctrine which Pelagius condemned.^ 

At the same time he dedicated the basihca of the holy Ger- 
vasius and Protasius,- built 

by bequest, ' 

as the gift of an illustrious lady named Vestina, under the direc- 
tion of the priests Ursicinus and Leopardus ^ and the deacon Livia- 
nus. And the aforesaid lady made provision in her will that the 
basihca of the holy martyrs should be built from the proceeds of 
her jewels and her pearls, which should be sold at a fair price, and 
that the building should be carried on until it was complete. The 
most blessed Innocent, by request of the illustrious lady Vestina, 
appointed the basihca a parish church of Rome and for that same 
church she offered : 

* * * * * * * *4 

three twenty-fourths and three twelfths of the Porta Nomen- 
tana, yielding 22 and one third sol. 

He decreed that the sabbath should be observed as a fast day, 
because on the sabbath the Lord was laid in the tomb and the 
disciples fasted.^ 

He appointed that the basihca of the blessed Agnes, the martyr, 
should be administered and cared for by the priests Leopardus and 
Pauhnus and should be roofed over and decorated at their dis- 

1 One corollary of Pelagius' teachings was that unbaptised infants have eternal 


2 The modern church of San Vitale is on the same site as this "Titulus Vestinae." 

3 This same priest helped in the construction and embelUshment of the church of 
Santa Pudenziana under Siricius and in the restoration of San Lorenzo under Zosimus. 
See hijra, p. 89, n. 3. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 49, 50, 54, 55- 

4 Long list of gifts to the new basilica, precious vessels, houses, lands and finally one- 
eighth of the customs collected at the Porta Nomentana. 

5 Another decree with a clear basis in a genuine document. The letter of Innocent 
to Decentius, bishop of Gubbio, contains the following passage : "Therefore we do not 
deny that fast should be observed on the sixth day but we maintain that the same 
should be practiced on the sabbath, because both days brought grief to the apostles 
and those who had been with Christ." Mansi, Amplissima CollecHo, vol. Ill, p. 1028 ; 
Jaffe, i?ege5/a, vol. I, p. 47, 311- 


cretion.^ The control of the aforesaid parish church of Vestina was 
entrusted to the priests. 

* * * * * * * *2 

He also was buried in the cemetery near Ursus Pileatus,^ 
June 27. I July 28. 

And the bishopric was empty 22 days. 

XLIII. ZosiMUS (417-418) 

Zosimus, by nationality a Greek, son of Abramius, occupied the 


7 years, 9 months and 24 days. | i year, 3 months and 11 days. 

He made many decrees for the church and ordained that dea- 
cons should wear napkins of wool and Knen to cover their left 

and that in all the parishes per- 
mission should be granted to 
bless the wax. 

in all the parishes ^ and that the 
wax should be blessed.^ 

He likewise gave order that no member of the clergy should 

1 The basilica of St. Agnes, being outside the walls of the city, may have suffered 
especially at the hands of the horde who accompanied Alaric. For a description of the 
destruction that marked the sack of 410 see Lanciani, Destruction of Ancient Rome, 
ch. V, pp. 56-70; Gregorovius, History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, chs. Ill and 

2 List of ordinations. 

* See supra, p. 86 and n. 2. 

■• An extension to the deacons of the " parish " or suburban churches of the right 
to wear the maniple bestowed by Sylvester upon the Roman deacons. Supra, p. 45 
and n. 6. Neither this nor the following decrees are found among the records of 
Zosimus elsewhere preserved. 

^The Latin word in the first column translated "wax" is "cera," in the second 
"cereus." Duchesne suggests that the "cera" was the wax used in Roman churches 
for modelling little forms of the Agnus Dei to distribute to the people at Easter time. 
The custom of blessing this wax and moulding the lambs is described in an Ordo Romanus 
of the ninth century. On the other hand the " cereus " is undoubtedly wax for lighting, 
and Duchesne conjectures that the author of the second text had in mind the blessing of 
the Paschal candle, formulae for which were drawn up early in the sixth century. 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 225, n. 2. 


drink in public, except in a chamber belonging to the faithful, 
preferably to the clergy.^ 

** * * * * * *2 

He also was buried on the Via Tiburtina, near the body of 
blessed Lawrence, the martyr,^ December 26. 
And the bishopric was empty 11 days. 

XLIV. Boniface I (418-422) 

Boniface, by nationahty a Roman, son of locundus, the priest, 
occupied the see 3 years, 8 months and 6 days. 

He was ordained by one faction on the same day as Eulahus and 
there was dissension among the clergy for 7 months and 15 days.^ 

1 A similar ordinance was passed by the Council of Laodicea and the Council of 
Carthage in the fourth century. 

2 List of ordinations. 

3 An inscription which was visible in the ninth century near the choir of the basilica 
of San Lorenzo recorded the repair and rebuilding of the church by the priest Leopardus 
at his own expense in the time of Zosimus. Cf. supra, p. 87 and n. 3. Duchesne 
thinks that Leopardus' reconstruction may have included the sinking of the old basilica 
to the level of the saint's tomb and the Constantinian confession so that one did not 
have to be reached by a stairway from the other as in Constantine's day, but the whole 
structure was partially subterranean, as it is at present. Cf. supra, p. 61. If that 
was the case, the church itself was then provided with a new entrance, a flight of 
stairs leading from the ground outside down into a vestibule, an arrangement similar 
to that now to be seen at Sant' Agnese. After the small basilica was united with the 
larger by Honorius III the independent entrance was closed up and the small church was 
reached only through the larger one, as it is to-day. The three niches in the vestibule, 
the middle one of which is now occupied by the tomb of Pius IX, were apparently used 
for burial places soon after Leopardus finished them. At least De Rossi believes that 
Zosimus was interred in one, Xystus III and HUary in the other two. Infra, pp. 97, 
104. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 197, n. 84. 

* Enough of the history of this brief schism has been recovered to make clear the 
narrative of the Lib. Pont. Pope Zosimus was buried Friday, December 27, 418. On 
their return from his obsequies the Roman deacons, headed by Eulalius, the archdeacon, 
seized the basilica of the Lateran, shut out the priests and elected Eulalius as Zosimus' 
successor. The priests on the ne.xt day elected Boniface, one of their number, in spite 
of his own protests. Both parties held ordination ceremonies on Sunday, Eulalius and 
his adherents in the Lateran, having dragged the bishop of Ostia from a sick bed to 
officiate, Boniface in another church in the presence of nine other bishops. Both 
claimed thereafter the authority of pope. The dispute was referred to Honorius at 


Eulalius was ordained in the basilica of Constantine and Boniface 
in the basilica of Julius.^ 

At the same time Placidia Augusta heard of it, when she was 
sojourning at Ravenna with her son, Valentinian Augustus, and 
she reported it to Honorius Augustus who was at Milan. Then 
both the Augusti sent authority and commanded that the two 
bishops should depart from the city.'' And after they were driven 
out Boniface dwelt in the cemetery of the holy FeHcitas, the martyr, 
on the Via Salaria, and Eulalius in the town of Antium ^ near 
the holy Hermes. 

But when the next Easter came Eulalius was presumptuous, 
because he had been ordained in the basilica of Constantine, and 
he entered into the city and baptised and celebrated Easter in the 
basihca of Constantine ; but Boniface celebrated the baptism of 
Easter, as was his custom, in the basihca of the holy martyr Agnes.'' 

Ravenna, who ordered both- rivals to appear before a council of Italian bishops and 
justify their pretensions. The council met in February or early March but seemed 
unable to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. It was accordingly decided to convoke 
another in May, to which the bishops of Gaul and Africa should also be invited. Mean- 
while, in order that Easter, which fell that year on March 30, might be celebrated 
peaceably in Rome, the council and emperor together determined that Boniface and 
Eulalius should remain outside the city in places appointed for them and that Achilleus, 
bishop of Spoleto, should preside over the Paschal ceremonies within the city. Boni- 
face obeyed the injunction but Eulalius made his way back to Rome, summoned his 
party about him, and on Good Friday took possession again of the Lateran. The 
prefect of the city was obliged to dislodge him by force and to station guards around 
the bishop of Spoleto while he performed the episcopal office. As a result of Eulalius' 
refractoriness Honorius sent a letter shortly to Rome declaring him a pretender and 
Boniface the true pope. On April 10 Boniface made his entry into the city and was 
received with general rejoicing. The schism had lasted a little over three months. 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 228, nn. i and 2. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, pp. 5i-53- 

1 Boniface I was neither elected nor ordained in the basilica Julia. An eye-witness 
to his ordination says that it took place in the church of Marcellus, i.e. San Lorenzo in 
Lucina. Our author has substituted the name of the basilica where Boniface II was 
ordained when a rival excluded him also from the Lateran. Infra, p. 140. 

2 There is no other mention of the participation of the Empress Placidia in this 
affair. Her son Valentinian, if born at this date, was an infant of a few months only. 

3 The modern Porto d'Anzio. CJ. supra, p. 50, n. 2. 

* It seems curious that Boniface should have been allowed to remain in such close 
proximity to the city while Eulalius was banished to Antium. It is possible that Boni- 
face's stay in the cemetery of Felicitas is purely legendary, suggested by the fact that 
he restored later the oratory of Felicitas and set up an inscription of gratitude for her 
aid. CJ. infra, p. 91. 


When the August! heard this, 
they both sent and expelled 
Eulalius by 52 bishops and by 
their authority they recalled 
Boniface into the city of Rome 
and appointed him bishop but 
they sent Eulalius away into 

And a synod was held and 
Eulalius was deposed by 52 bish- 
ops, because he had not been 
rightfully ordained, and Boniface 
took the seat of bishop by gen- 
eral consent and EulaUus was 
appointed bishop for the town of 

And after 3 years and 8 months Boniface died. The clergy and 
the people asked that Eulalius be recalled.^ Nevertheless Eulalius 
refused to return to Rome. And in that same place in Campania, 
a year after the death of Boniface, Eulahus died. 

Boniface decreed that no woman or nun should touch the con- 
secrated altar cloth or wash it or offer incense in church but only 
the ministering attendants ; ^ and that no slave should be ad- 
mitted to the clergy nor any man Hable to curial service or any 
other exaction.^ 

He built an oratory in the cemetery of the holy Felicitas near 
her body and beautified the sepulchre of the holy martyr, Felicitas, 
and of the holy Silvanus.^ 

1 The town of Nepi on the northern border of the Roman province. 

2 In 420, a year after entering upon his office, Boniface fell seriously ill. At once 
dissension arose over the question of his successor. Upon his recovery he wrote to 
Honorius to ask that measures might be taken to prevent a fresh outbreak of the schism 
at his death. Honorius replied with an edict to the effect that in case of a double 
election the two rival candidates should henceforth both be debarred and that a new 
pope should be chosen who could obtain the support of every one. Unfortunately the 
edict could not always be enforced. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 229, n. 10. Jaffe, Regesta, 
vol. I, p. S3, 353. 

3 The exclusion of women from the ministry of the altar was already the ancient 
and invariable practice as early as there is any reference to the subject. 

* There was apparently throughout this period a regulation against the ordination 
of slaves and "curiales." Innocent I excluded the latter class. Jaffe, op. cit., p. 47, 
314. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 229, n. 12. 

5 De Rossi has identified the cemetery of Felicitas with a catacomb and group of 
tombs to the right of the Via Salaria about a mile from the city. The oratory of Boni- 
face is mentioned in itineraries of the seventh century, although no traces of it are now 
to be found. His inscription, however, may be read in Duchesne. There still exists 
within the city, near the baths of Trajan, a chapel to the saint, dating from the time of 
Boniface and perhaps built also by him. It is decorated with a fresco representing the 
martyred Felicitas and her seven sons, among whom was the Silvanus noted in the 
text. Duchesne, ibid., n. 13 ; Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 55-56. 


* * * * * * * *i 

He also was buried 

in the cemetery of holy FeUcitas, 
the martyr, on the Via Salaria, 

on the Via Salaria, near the 
body of the holy FeUcitas, the 

October 25. 

And the bishopric was empty 9 days. 

XLV. Celestine I (422-432) 

Celestine, by nationahty 

a Campanian, | a Roman, 

son of Priscus, occupied the see 8 years, 10 months and 17 days. 

He made many regulations and appointed that the 150 psalms 
of David should be chanted antiphonally before the sacrifice by 
everyone ; - this was not done previously but only the epistle of 
blessed Paul, the apostle, was read and the holy gospel, 

and thus masses were performed. I 

He made a regulation for the whole church, in particular with 
regard to the religious Hfe, and to this day it is kept preserved in 
the archives of the church.^ 

He dedicated the basilica of JuHus and offered there after the 
Gothic fire : * 

a silver paten, weighing 25 lbs. ; 

1 Short list of gifts to the oratory and list of ordinations. 

2 The antiphonal chanting of the Psalms was at first a feature of the liturgy of the 
Eastern church and thence was adopted into the service in Italy. It is known to have 
been the practice in Milan in 387. This, of course, is the psalmody before public 
mass as distinct from the psalmody of the canonical hours of prayer. With the recita- 
tion of the Psalms followed by the Epistle and Gospel the office of the mass was assum- 
ing shape. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 231, n. i. 

3 Several letters of Celestine are still in existence. They relate to ecclesiastical 
affairs in Gaul, Africa, Illyria and Britain and to Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus. 
No one of them corresponds to the description here. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, pp. 55-57, 

* Santa Maria in Trastevere. See supra, p. 73 and n. 5. This is one of the rare, 
surviving allusions to the damage done by Alaric's raid of 410. Orosius says that 
Alaric charged his soldiers to respect the sanctuaries of Peter and Paul, but churches in 





He also was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via 
Salaria, April 6. 

And the bishopric was empty 21 days. 

XLVI. Xystus III (432-440) 

Xystus, by nationality a Roman, son of Xystus, occupied the 
see 8 years and 19 days. 

After one year and 8 months he was accused by a man called 

and by order of Valentinian 
Augustus a synod was held and 
a great trial 

Then Valentinian Augustus 
heard it and ordered a holy 
synod to be called together as a 
council ; and when it was con- 
vened there was a great trial 
and the synodical judgment 
was given 

and he was acquitted by 56 bishops 

and they expelled Bassus from 
the communion. 

and Bassus was condemned by 
the synod but with the provi- 
sion that at his death the vi- 
aticum should not be denied 

for the sake of mercy 
and the compassion of the 

other parts of the city apparently were not spared. Orosius, Historiarum Adversum 
Paganos Libri VII, VII, 39, ed. Zangemeister (Teubner), pp. 292-293. See also 
infra, p. 95, n. i. 

1 List of gifts offered to the churches of Julius, Peter and Paul. List of ordinations. 

2 The whole of the ensuing account of the accusation and trial of Xystus is apocry- 
phal, taken with modifications from a narrative entitled Gesta de Xysti Purgalione, 
which was composed about the year 501, the period when the Gesta Liberii, the legend 
of Liberius, was also fabricated. See supra, p. 75, n. 2. Xystus III was never tried 
for any crime. The chief concerns of his pontificate were problems of dogma and the 
Pelagian and Nestorian heresies. The story here given is obviously the work of some 
one who aimed to create a precedent for the trial of Pope Symmachus by a church council 


When Valentinian Augustus heard this and his mother, Placidia 
Augusta, they were filled with holy wrath and proscribed Bassus 
by an edict and bestowed all the lands of his estates upon the 
cathoHc church. And Bassus, by the will of God, died within 
3 months. And Xystus, the bishop, with his own hands wrapped 
his body in linen cloths and spices and laid it near blessed Peter, 
the apostle, in his family burial chamber. 

He built the basilica of the holy Mary, which was called by 
the ancients the basilica of Liberius,^ near the Macellum of Lybia, 
and he offered there : 

^ ^ ^ 4: ^ ^ ^ ^2 

the tenements adjoining the steps of the basilica and all con- 
tained therein. 

He adorned with silver the confession of blessed Peter, the 
apostle, to the weight of four hundred pounds. At his solicitation 
Valentinian Augustus offered a golden relief with 12 doors and the 
12 apostles and the Savior, adorned with jewels of great price,^ 

the which as a votive gift he set 

over the confession of blessed Peter, the apostle. 

at the direction of Theodoric. Seeinfra, pp. 117-118. The history of Pope Damasus was 
also tampered with for a similar purpose. Supra, pp. 79, n. 3 ; 82, n. 2. In the narra- 
tive here Valentinian plays the part of Theodoric later. Anicius Bassus was a consul 
in 431 and his name was probably found in the Fasti. The two special features of this 
story, the confiscation of Bassus' goods for the benefit of the Roman church and his 
burial near the tomb of Peter, were no doubt suggested, the one by the basilica of 
Junius Bassus, consul in 317, which had been converted into a church before the year 
500 and the other by the sarcophagus of another Junius Bassus, who died in 359, 
which is still one of the ornaments of the Vatican crypt. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. 
I, pp. cxxvi, cxxvii. 

1 The basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. See supra, p. 77, n. 5; Gregorovius, 
History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 184-189. Xystus did not build the basilica 
but restored it. He added the mosaics of the triumphal arch which proclaim the divine 
motherhood of Mary, the dogma enunciated by the Council of Ephesus during Xystus' 
pontificate. Above them his inscription may still be read, "XYSTUS EPISCOPUS 
PLEBI DEI," Bishop Xystus to the People of God. 

2 List of gifts to the basilica of Mary. 

' This is one of the notable works of art mentioned by Pope Hadrian in his letter 
to Charlemagne on the sacred images at Rome. Mansi, Amplissima Colledio, vol. 
XIII, p. 801. It was probably destroyed during the sack of the Saracens in 846. A 
design showing Christ and the apostles seated beneath the arcades of a portico is 
found on many sarcophagi of the fourth and fifth centuries. 


Likewise Valentinian Augustus, at the request of Xystus, the 
bishop, erected a ciborium of silver in the basihca of Constantine, 

weighed 2,000 pounds, | weighed 1,610 pounds, 

in place of the one which had been destroyed by the barbarians.^ 

At this time Valentinian Augustus made the confession of 
blessed Paul, the apostle, out of silver, weighing 200 pounds. Also 
Xystus, the bishop, set up the confession of blessed Lawrence, the 
martyr,^ with porphyry columns and adorned 

with slabs 

the screen and the altar and the confession of holy Lawrence, the 
martyr, with purest silver, 

he made an altar | 

weighing 50 lbs. ; 

silver rails over the porphyry slabs, weighing 300 lbs. ; 

an apse ^ above the rails with a silver figure of blessed Lawrence, 

the martyr, weighing 200 lbs. 

He built also the basihca to the holy Lawrence,^ which Valen- 
tinian Augustus granted to him, where likewise he offered the fol- 
lowing gifts : 

^ ^ ^ 'I* 5iC ^ JjC "Ko 

^ I.e. in place of the one given by Constantine and removed by the Goths of Alaric. 
Supra, p. 47, n. 2. 

2 The rich confession of St. Lawrence, built in the time of Constantine {Supra, 
p. 62), had apparently been plundered also by the Goths, so that Xystus found it 
necessary to restore most of the furniture. Duchesne thinks that the porphyry 
columns of Xystus are those which still support the ciborium and that the porphyry 
slabs of Xystus' screen now enclose the altar. 

' I.e. a niche to hold the image of the saint. 

* The larger basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, forming the body of the present 
structure and connected with the smaller and older church in the thirteenth century. 
Supra, p. 61, n. 2. This is the generally accepted view, although Mr. Frothingham 
claims to have grounds for maintaining that Xystus III built the church of San Lorenzo 
in Lucina instead of the basilica outside the city. The latter was certainly in existence 
before the end of the fifth century, but there is no monument or record to connect 
it with Xystus beyond the ambiguous notice here. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 235, n. 12. 
Frothingham, Monuments, p. 407. 

^ List of precious utensils given to the basilica of St. Lawrence. 



He built also a monastery at 
the Catacombs.^ 

He built also a baptismal 
font for the holy Mary and beau- 
tified it with porphyry columns.^ 

He erected in the baptistery 
of the basilica of Constantine 
the columns which had been col- 
lected in the time of Constan- 
tine Augustus, eight in number, 
made of porphyry ; and he set 
them in place and decorated 
them with letters and verses ; ^ 

also a tablet in the cemetery of 
CalUstus, where he recorded the 
names of the bishops.^ 

basilica of 


which pre- 

been there ; 

He built in the 
Constantine a 
around the font, 
viously had not 
that is, he set up the marble 
architraves and the porphyry 
columns which Constantine 
Augustus collected and laid to- 
gether and ordered to be set up 
and he adorned them with 
verses. He placed a tablet in 
the cemetery of CalHstus on the 
Via Appia, where he inscribed 
the names of the bishops and 
martyrs for a memorial. 

1 The monastery of San Sebastiano, one of the first, if not actually the first, to be 
built adjoining a suburban church, in order to provide for the religious services which 
could no longer be adequately maintained by the clergy of the urban basilica with 
which the cemeterial church was connected. For the site see supra, p. 8i and n. 2. 

2 No trace of this baptistery now remains. 

3 The eight porphyry columns and the inscription upon the architrave may still 
be seen in the Lateran baptistery. Cf. supra, p. 50. 

^ The marble tablet was set up in the papal crypt of the catacomb of Callistus and 
bore the names of the martyred popes and other saints who were buried there. Du- 
chesne gives a conjectural reading of the inscription, as made out by De Rossi : 

"The Names of the Bishops, Martyrs and Confessors who are buried in the Ceme- 
tery of Callistus 

Xystus Dionysius Stephen Urbanus 

Cornelius Felix Lucius Manno 

Pontianus Eutychianus Anteros Numidianus 

Fabianus Gains Laudiceus Julianus 

Eusebius Miltiades Polycarp Optatus 

Of These the First, the Holy Xystus, Suffered with Agapitus, Felicissimus and 
XI Others." 

The tablet itself has long disappeared but De Rossi derives his reading from two 
early lists of inscriptions which seem to have been copied from the original stones. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 236, n. 16. It may be noticed that fourteen out of these twenty 
names are those of popes. 



And In his time Peter, the 
bishop, built the basilica of the 
holy Savina in the city of Rome 
and erected there a font.^ 

He also was buried on the Via Tiburtina in a crypt, 

* 1 

near the holy Lawrence.^ 

near the body of the blessed 

And the bishopric was empty 22 days. 

From the death of Silvester 
to Leo I is 99 years, 5 months 
and 26 days. 

XLVII. Leo I (440-461) 

Leo, by nationality a Tuscan, son of Quintianus, occupied the 
see 21 years, i month and 13 days. 

He made a regulation for the 

In his time Demetria, the handmaid of God, built a basilica to 
the holy Stephen in her own garden on the Via Latina at the third 

He found two heresies, 
Eutyches and Nestorius,^ the Eutychian 


and the Nes- aid of 
torian. bishops. 

1 Minor gifts to the churches of Peter, Paul and Lawrence. List of ordinations. 

2 The basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine. Its graceful columns are sup- 
posed to have been taken from a neighboring temple to Juno Regina, despoiled by 
Alaric. Its famous carved doors of cypress wood are among the finest examples of 
fifth century art. According to the dedicatory inscription over the entrance the build- 
ing was begun while Celestine was pope. It may have been finished under Xystus. 

^ On this place see supra, p. 89, n. 3. 

* This is Anicia Demetrias, of the house of the Anicii Probi, one of the group of 
devout women at Rome, the friend and pupil of Augustine and Jerome. She left her 
property for the building of a church to St. Stephen, which was erected toward the 
close of Leo's pontificate. A few ruins now show where it stood and testify by their 
rude workmanship to the decline of Roman skill during the years that saw the invasions 
of Attila and Genseric. Frothingham, Monuments, p. 63. 

^ Nestorius was charged with holding that there were two persons as well as two 



and by request of Marcian Au- 
gustus, the orthodox, and at his 

He, by his own authority, 
issued precepts and he sent to 
Marcian Augustus, the ortho- 
dox, cathohc prince, and an 
assemblage was called and the 
bishops were gathered together 
with the prince and 

the holy council of the bishops was held at Chalcedon 

in the confession chapel of the 
holy Euphemia; and 256 priests 
were met together, 

408 bishops 

and they were assembled to- 
gether with the Tome, that 
contained the declaration of 
faith of the apostohc, Roman 
church and the autograph of 
the holy bishop Leo. Then in 
the presence of the cathohc 
prince Marcian Augustus the 
assembled council of bishops, 
in number 1200, in company 
with Marcian Augustus set forth 
the catholic faith, two natures 
in one Christ, God and man. 

natures in Christ, the God-man, Eutyches that there was but one person and one 
nature. For a good, general account of the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies 
see Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I, pp. 494-515- <7- Luke Rivington, Roman 
Primacy, 430-451, (Catholic) ; Puller, Primitive Saints aiid the See of Rome, (Protest- 
ant) ; Hefele, op. cil., vol. IT, pp. 499-881. Ayer, Source Book of Ancient Church 
History, pp. 476-481, 504-522. 

1 The following two accounts in our text of the Council of Chalcedon are both 
somewhat confused, the one in the first column giving, on the whole, a slightly more 
accurate notion of its work than the other, as may be seen by a comparison with the 
facts. The council met in 451 at the summons of the emperor Marcian and contrary 
to the express desire of the pope. It held its sessions in the basilica of St. Euphemia 

in the East in the basihca of the 
holy martyr Euphemia ; ^ and 
he gathered together 266 priests 


406 bishops 

who sent their autographs, 

and they condemned Eutyches 
and Nestorius. And after 42 
days, being gathered together 
with the autographs, those who 
were present, 1200 bishops, set 
forth the faith in the presence of 
Marcian, the most pious Augus- 



and he, together with Placidia 
Augusta, professed his faith pub- 
hcly before the eyes of the holy 
bishops and Eutyches was con- 
demned a second time. 

Afterwards the emperor Mar- 
cian and 1 50 bishops sent an offi- 
cial letter and asked Leo, the 
pope, to transmit to them an ex- 
position of the catholic and apos- 
tolic faith. Then the blessed 
Leo expounded it and sent the 
Tome and confirmed the holy 

He wrote 
many letters 
setting forth 
the true catho- 
lic faith, which 
are kept to this 
day in the ar- 
chives of the 
Roman church. 

He set 

forth the true 
cathoHc ' faith 
in company 

with many 

bishops, and 
his writings are 
kept to this 
day in the ar- 
chives of the 

And there the pious Mar- 
cian Augustus, together with 
his wife, Pulcheria Augusta, 
laid aside his regal majesty and 
professed his faith before the 
eyes of the holy bishops and 
they condemned Eutyches and 
Nestorius. I Nestorius and 

I Dioscorus. 
And a second time the em- 
peror Marcian with his con- 
sort, Pulcheria Augusta, set 
forth his faith and signed it 
with his own hand and demand- 
ed of the holy council that it 
should send his profession to the 
most blessed pope Leo and 
condemn all heresies. 

Moreover the most blessed 
archbishop Leo sent many let- 
ters regarding the faith, which 
are preserved to this day in the 

in Chalcedon. A confession chapel, "martyrium," would have been too small. 
There were probably six hundred bishops in attendance. The number of those who 
accepted its decisions afterwards cannot be estimated. About twenty sessions were 
held during the twenty-four days of its duration. At one of these sessions the emperor 
and empress were present and made public profession of the imperial creed. At the 
emperor's urgent behest the bishops drew up a declaration of orthodox doctrine, basing 
it to a large extent upon Leo's famous letter written two years earlier to the bishop 
Flavianus and known as the Tome. It contained an exposition, drawn from Tertullian, 
of the dual nature of Christ. Marcian then required of Leo a confirmation of the dogma 
as set forth by the council and Leo gave it. Jaffe, Regesia, vol. I, p. 62, 423. Duchesne, 
Lib. Font., vol. I, p. 239, n. 2. 



Roman church 

on account of 

the Eutychian 

and Nestorian 

heresies which 

were condemned 

in his time, 
likewise a decretal, which he sent 
about and circulated throughout 
the whole world.^ 

He confirmed the synod of Chalcedon in many letters : 1 2 
letters to Marcian, 13 letters to Leo Augustus, 9 letters to Fla- 
vianus, the bishop, 18 letters to the bishops of the East, all of which 
confirmed the faith of the synod.^ 

He replaced all the conse- 
crated silver vessels in all the 
parish churches after the Vandal 

* * * * 

He repaired the basilica of 
blessed Peter, the apostle,^ and 
restored the vaulting of blessed 
Paul after the fire from God.^ 

He replaced the vessels of 
the Roman church after the 
Vandal war. 

* 4 

He made the vaulting and dec- 
orated the basilica of blessed 
Peter and repaired the basiUca 
of Paul, the apostle. 

1 It is impossible to identify this decretal. Leo wrote several of importance, ad- 
dressed to bishops in different countries, but no single one, so far as we are aware, with 
such wide application as to be described by the phrase here used, unless it be the Tome 
already mentioned. In 453 that was being read in Greek by the monks of Palestine. 
Jaffe, Regesta, p. 70, 500. 

2 The Regesta of Jaffe enumerates in all 150 letters of Leo, of which 17 are addressed 
to Marcian, 8 to the emperor Leo and 7 to Flavianus, bishop of Constantinople, the 
last, however, anterior to the Council of Chalcedon. There are 13 more letters to the 
bishops of Constantinople after Flavianus and 38 to other Eastern bishops at Alexan- 
dria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Thessalonica, etc. Our author evidently knew something 
of the extent of the correspondence. Duchesne, op. cit., vol. I, p. cxxxii. 

^The sack of Rome by Genseric in 455. See Gregorovius, History of Rome, tx. 
Hamilton, vol. I, ch. VI. 

* Short list of vessels replaced in the basilicas of Peter, Paul and John. 

^ The mosaic on the facade of old St. Peter's bore a dedicatory inscription com- 
memorating a restoration by the praetorian prefect Marinianus and his wife Anastasia 
at the request of Leo. Duchesne, op. cit., p. cxxvii, n. 4. 

® The roof of the basilica of St. Paul had fallen in, destroyed perhaps by lightning. 

LEO I loi 

He made likewise the vaulting in the basilica of Constantine.^ 

He built also a basilica to the blessed Cornehus, bishop and 
martyr, near the cemetery of Calhstus on the Via Appia.- 

He, for the sake of the Roman name, undertook an embassy 
and went to meet the king of the Huns, Atthela by name, and 
dehvered all Italy from the peril of the enemy .^ 

He founded a monastery at the church of blessed Peter, the 

which is called the monastery 
of the holy John and Paul/ 

He ordained that during the performance of mass ''sanctum 
sacrificium," etc. should be repeated.^ 

He ordained that a nun should not receive the blessing of the 
veiled head until she had been tried in virginity 

40 years.^ I 60 years. 

The inscription recording the fact of its ruin and of its reparation by two priests, 
Felix and Adeodatus, during the pontificate of Leo is preserved in the museum of the 
basilica. The mosaic of the triumphal arch was also a part of Leo's reconstruction. 
Though badly restored, the design may still be made out and the inscription which 
testifies to assistance from the empress Galla Placidia. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 240, n. 7. 

1 Parts of the apsidal mosaic of the Lateran basilica, the bust of Christ in the clouds 
and the Earthly Paradise at the foot, are perhaps work of the early fifth century. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 241, n. 8. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 336-338. 

2 No trace of this basilica now remains. It is mentioned in two itineraries of the 
seventh century but not later. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 241, n. 9. 

3 The well-known story of the meeting with Attila in 452. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, 
p. 68; Gregorovius, History of Rome, vol. I, pp. 228-230; Hodgkin, Italy and her 

Invaders, vol. II. 

* The first monastery to be attached to the Vatican basilica. By 732 there were 
two others. They have all, of course, disappeared now, along with every other early 
and medieval structure on that site. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 241, n. 11. 

^ I.e. in the eucharistic formula ending, "quod tibi obtuht summus sacerdos tuus 
Melchisedech sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam." Leo seems to have added 
the words, " sanctum sacrificium, im.maculatam hostiam," to the reference to Mel- 
chisedech's offering of bread and wine, instigated thereto possibly by the aversion of 
the Manicheans to wine and in particular to its use in a sacred liturgy. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 241, n. 12. 

6 We have no early, authentic document that specifies the age required at Rome of a 
woman who wished to assume the veil of a consecrated virgin. In Africa, at the begin- 
ning of the fifth century, she was ordinarily expected to be at least twenty-five years old. 
The Council of Saragossa, 380 a.d., fixed forty as the minimum age in Spain. An 
edict of the emperor Marjorian in the time of Leo confirmed the act of the Spanish 


He appointed guards from the Roman clergy over the tombs 
of the apostles; they are called the "cubicularii." ^ 

*^ ^ ^ ^ 4e sts 5I; o 

V •!» *T* *7* "^ *^ "l* ^ 

He also was buried 

in the basihca of the blessed 

April II. 

And the bishopric was empty 7 days. 

in the church of blessed Peter 
the apostle, 

XLVIII. Hilary (461-468) 
Hilary, by nationahty a Sardinian, son of 

Crispinianus, | Crispinus, 

occupied the see 6 years, 3 months and 10 days. 
He made a decretal and 

sent it I disseminated it 

throughout all the East ^ and letters concerning the catholic 

and apostolic | 

faith and he confirmed the three synods of Nicea, Ephesus and 
Chalcedon '^ and the Tome of the holy 

bishop I archbishop 

church. None of the surviving decretals of Leo or his successors through the fifth 
and sixth centuries alludes to the subject of age. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 241, n. 13. 
Mansi, Amplissima Colleclio, vol. IV, p. 508.. 

1 An inscription dated 533 or 544 names one Decius, "cubicularius of the basilica 
of St. Paul;" another of the same period mentions a "cubicularius of blessed Peter." 
The confessions before the tombs of the apostles were being filled with gifts of such 
price as to demand special warders or custodians. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 241, n. 14. 

2 List of ordinations. 

3 Leo was the first of the popes to be buried in the portico of St. Peter's. His 
remains were brought within the sanctuary by Sergius I in 688 and now lie with those 
of Leo II, Leo III and Leo IV in the left transept of the modern cathedral. Lanciani, 
Pagan and Christian Rome, pp. 221-223. 

* No documents survive to prove Hilary's correspondence with the Eastern branch 
of the church, but it is not unlikely that they once existed. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., 
vol. I, p. cxxxii. 

* Duchesne quotes this passage in support of his contention that the Liber Pon- 
tificalis was first compiled in the early sixth century. See supra, Introduction, pp. xi-xii. 
Until the time of Pope Vigilius, 537-555, the Roman church recognized only the three 
ecumenical councils here enumerated; afterward it acknowledged also the Council 
of Constantinople of the year 381. Duchesne, op. cit., p. xxxviii. 


Leo and he condemned Eutyches and Nestorius and all their dis- 
ciples and all heresies ; and he maintained 

the supremacy [ the authority 

and the headship of the holy catholic and apostolic see. 

He made a regulation for the church in the basilica of the holy 
Mary during the consulship of Basiliscus and Hermenericus, 
November 16.^ 

He built 3 oratories in the baptistery of the basilica of Con- 
stantine, one to holy John the Baptist, one to holy John the 
Evangelist, and one to the Holy Cross, all decked with silver and 
precious stones ; ^ 

* * * * =f: * * *3 

And in the city of Rome he provided vessels for service to be 
carried about to the appointed stations : ^ 
a golden beaker 

for the station, | with handles, 

1 The Roman synod of 465. The date here given is exact. A letter of Pope 
Hilary, still in existence, speaks of the bishops as in session on November 19. Jaffe, 
Regesta, vol. I, p. 76. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 245, n. 2. 

2 The first two oratories are still to be seen opening out of the Lateran baptistery. 
The former preserves the bronze doors of Hilary with the dedicatory inscription above 
them, "HILARUS EPISCOPUS SANCT^ PLEBI DEI," the latter Hilary's vault 
mosaics. The oratory of the Holy Cross was torn down in the seventeenth century. 

^ List of rich gifts to the three oratories, especially to that of the Holy Cross, which 
he beautified with a court, portico and elaborate fountain. Lists of gifts to the basilicas 
of the Lateran, Peter, Paul and Lawrence. 

^ As early as the fifth century it was customary for the clergy of the whole Roman 
church to assemble from time to time in one basilica or another for a stational mass, 
tha t is, a mass where the entire city church was represented from bishop to laity. This 
custom, like the distribution of the leaven {supra, p. 41 and n. 2), was apparently 
intended to typify the unity of the Christian fellowship. The pope was the chief 
celebrant at the altar but the priests of the twenty-five parish churches stood about 
and assisted both in the consecration service and in the distribution of the blessed 
elements to the people. Hilary provided a special set of altar vessels to be used at these 
stational masses, to be stored during the intervals at the Lateran or at Santa Maria 
Maggiore. Gregory I made out a definite schedule of the churches at which these 
stations should be held, including the parish churches and certain oratories and ceme- 
teries. For an eighth century ritual for the observance of the stational mass see Atch- 
ley, Ordo Romanus Primus, p. 32 and passim. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 246, n. 9. Cam- 
bridge Med. Hist., vol. I, pp. 158-159. 


weighing 8 lbs. ; 


silver I 

beakers for the parish priests, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
25 silver pitchers, weighing each 10 lbs. ; 
50 silver chaHces for service, weighing each 2 lbs. 

which he appointed to be kept 

in the church of holy Mary. 

All these he appointed to be 
kept in the basilica of Constan- 
tine or in that of holy Mary. 

He built a monastery near the church of the holy Lawrence ^ 
and a bath I 

and another in the open air, 
and a villa 

to the holy Stephen. He built 
also an oratory of the holy Ste- 
phen in the Lateran baptistery. 

He erected also two libraries in the same place, likewise a 
monastery within the city of Rome "ad Luna." 

* :1c * * * * * *2 

He also was buried near the holy Lawrence in a crypt near the 
body of the blessed bishop Xystus.^ 
And the bishopric was empty 10 days. 

1 This and the following buildings have now all disappeared. Hilary's monastery 
of St. Lawrence may have stood upon the site of the present convent. One of his two 
baths was evidently enclosed and heated like the usual Roman bath, the other was 
an uncovered basin of cold water. The villa or ' ' pretorium ' ' may have been an hospice 
for pilgrims or a papal residence. If the succeeding sentence in the text is an interpola- 
tion, as seems probable, the two libraries were attached to the villa. Hilary's successor, 
Simplicius, built a church to St. Stephen in the neighborhood (infra, p. 105), and for 
that reason a later editor may have ascribed to Hilary a shrine to the same saint. The 
location of the monastery within the city is unknown. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 247, 

nn. 10, II, 12. 

2 List of ordinations. 

3 On his burial place see supra, p. 89, n. 3, 



XLIX. SiMPLicius (468-483) 

Simplicius, by nationality a Tiburtine,\son of 
Castinus, I Castorius, 

occupied the see 15 years, 
I month and 7 days. 1 and 7 days. 

He dedicated the basihca of the holy Stephen on the Celian 
Hill in the city of Rome ^ and the basilica of the blessed apostle 
Andrew near the basihca of the holy Mary ^ and another basilica 
of the holy Stephen near the basihca of the holy Lawrence '^ and 
another basihca of the blessed martyr Bibiana within the city of 
Rome beside the Licinian palace where her body rests.^ 

He appointed weeks for holy Peter, the apostle, and for holy 
Paul, the apostle, and for holy Lawrence, the martyr, when priests 
should be in attendance 

to administer baptism and pen- 
ance to those who sought them, 

for administering penance and 

1 I.e. from Tivoli. 

2 The enigmatical, round church now called San Stefano Rotondo. It is still a 
problem whether it was built originally for pagan or for Christian uses. 

3 Later known as Sant' Andrea in Catabarbara. Simplicius took a secular hall, 
erected by the consul Junius Bassus during the reign of Constantine and adorned 
richly with scenes from Roman mythology and history, and transformed it into a 
basilica by throwing out an apse on the end opposite the entrance and decorating it 
with a mosaic of Christ and six apostles. The structure fell into ruin and was destroyed 
in the seventeenth century. It stood near Santa Maria Maggiore on land now owned 
by the convent of Sant' Antonio. Duchesne, Lih. Pont., vol. I, p. 250, n. 2. This is the 
first mention of a pubHc building appropriated by the church. In the turmoU of the 
period of Anthemius, Ricimer and Odoacer any one was free to take possession of the 
decaying, civil monuments. 

* This basilica also has been torn down, but there are remnants of an ancient oratory 
with three apses a little to the southeast of San Lorenzo, near the stairs by which 
one climbs to the upper part of the modern cemetery. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 

250, n. 3. 

5 The original church of Santa Bibiana was constructed perhaps out of one of the 
pleasure houses which decked the gardens of the emperor Gallienus. The emperor's 
full name was Publius Licinius Gallienus; hence the title applied to his palace. No 
vestige of Simplicius' church is visible in the present basilica. Duchesne, op. at., 
p. 250, n. 4. 


throughout the 3rd district for the holy Lawrence, the first district 
for the holy Paul, the 6th and 7th districts for the holy Peter.^ 

During his episcopate a report was sent from Greece, from 
Acacius, bishop of Constantinople, to the effect that Peter of the 
city of Alexandria was a Eutychian heretic ; and a petition came 
from Acacius, the bishop, drawn up by his own hand. 

At that time the church, 
that is the first, apostolic see, 
took action. 

Then the church acted. 

Then Simplicius, 

the bishop and | 

the head, learned of it and condemned Peter of Alexandria, against 
whom Acacius charged innumerable crimes, but reserved for him 
an opportunity for penance. 

Forthwith Timotheus, a catholic, and Acacius wrote again, 
saying that Peter was Kkewise implicated in the death of Proterius, 
a catholic. Then 

the archbishop | the pope 

Simplicius took no heed and did not reply to Acacius but con- 
demned Peter until such time as he should do penance.^ 

1 The priests of the three great basilicas had evidently reached a point where they 
found themselves unable to accomplish all the various duties connected with their 
offices, e.g. the performance of sacraments and services in the basilicas, the conduct 
of funerals and other services in the suburban cemeteries attached to the basilicas, the 
administration of the cemeteries and the properties belonging to the basilicas, the care 
of their parishioners, especially during the troublous years of poUtical anarchy and social 
upheaval. Simplicius devised a plan by which priests from the smaller churches in 
the neighborhood should attend the greater basilicas to help provide spiritual ministra- 
tions. In the twelfth century a similar system was still in vogue, the basilica of Santa 
Maria Maggiore also receiving aid from adjacent priests. At that time the pries's of 
Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Cecilia and San Crisogono in the seventh ecclesi- 
astical district and of San Lorenzo in Damaso and San Marco in the sixth officiated at 
stated intervals in the Vatican and priests of Santa Sabina, Santa Prisca, Santa Balbina 
and Santi Nereo ed Achilleo in the first district in San Paolo. The Lateran basilica 
was assisted by bishops from the vicinity of Rome. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 250, n. 5. 

2 This brief and obscure narrative is an account of the part played by the pope in 
the events of the Monophysite insurrection which followed the Council of Chalcedon. 
See supra, pp. 97-99. The disciples of Eutyches and Cyril of Alexandria saw in the 


4c * * * * * * *1 

He was buried 

near the blessed Peter, 

in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle, 

March 2. 

And the bishopric was empty 6 days. 

L. Felix III (483-492) 

Felix, by nationality a Roman, son of Fehx, priest of the parish 
church of Fasciola,^ occupied the see 8 years, 11 months and 17 

Chalcedon decree another form of the Nestorian heresy, ascribing a dual personality 
as well as a dual nature to Christ, and broke into a revolt that disturbed both church 
and empire for a century. The struggle was most violent in Alexandria. There the 
orthodox patriarch, Proterius, was assassinated in 457 and for some years the Mono- 
physites held the see. The accession of Emperor Zeno to the throne, however, in 477 
turned the tide temporarily in favor of the orthodox party. Peter Mongius, the 
heretic patriarch, was deposed by imperial order and Timotheus Solofaciolus installed 
in his stead. Acacius, bishop of Constantinople, was already in correspondence with 
Simplicius regarding the lamentable state of affairs in Alexandria. Timotheus now 
also sent a deputation to the pope to complain of Peter's unceasing intrigues against 
him and to urge Simplicius to use his influence with the emperor to have Peter banished 
to a distance. The letters of Simplicius to Zeno and Acacius on the subject may be 
found summarised in Jaffe's Regesta, vol. I, pp. 78-79, 579-582. He seems to have made 
no impression on the emperor, for Peter remained free as before until the death of 
Timotheus in 482. The latter's orthodox successor proved to be unacceptable to both 
Zeno and Acacius and negotiations were straightway undertaken by them for a com- 
promise with the indomitable Peter. The result was the Henotikon Edict issued by 
Zeno in 482, which condemned both extremists, Eutyches and Nestorius, ignored the 
Chalcedon decree and attempted to formulate a doctrine to which Catholics and 
Monophysites might all subscribe. Simplicius, learning of this change of face, wrote 
to protest against the restoration of Peter, but with no more effect than before. Neither 
Zeno nor Acacius replied to him. Jaffe, ibid., 586-589. The controversy was resumed 
by Simplicius' successors, as we shall see. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 251, n. 6. On Zeno's 
policy see Cambridge Med. Hist., vol. I, pp. 515-520. 

1. Lists of gifts to the Vatican basilica and of ordinations. 

2 An ancient name for the church now called Santi Nereo ed Achilleo. Duchesne 
prints the text of several epitaphs, found in the basilica of San Paolo, which are prob- 
ably those of the father of Felix III and of the latter's wife and two children. Petronia, 
wife of Felk, died in 472, while her husband was only a deacon. Gregory the Great 
was one of their descendants. In his Dialogues he recounts the vision which his aunt, 
a consecrated virgin, had of their ancestor. Pope Felix, shortly before her own death. 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. 240, n. 7, 253, n. 2. Gregory I, Dialogi, IV, 16; Migne, 
Pat. Lat., vol. 77, col. 348. -, 


He was bishop in the time of Odobacer,^ the king, until the 
time of Theodoric, 

the king. | 

He built the basilica of the holy Agapitus near the basihca of the 
holy Lawrence, the martyr.^ 

During his episcopate there came another report 

from the region of Greece | from Greece 

that Peter of Alexandria had been reinstated 

in the communion | 

by Acacius, bishop of Constantinople.^ Then the venerable 

pope Felix 

Felix, archbishop of the apos- 
tolic see of the city of Rome, 

sent an advocate 

by resolution of the synod | by advice 

of his see and held a council and condemned Acacius together with 

1 Odoacer. Theodoric did not take Ravenna until 493 but by 491 he was able to 
send Faustus, prince of the Senate, as his ambassador to Emperor Zeno, a fact which 
indicates that by this time he was pretty well master of Rome. Duchesne points out 
that our author here resumes the imperial synchronisms which had been discontinued 
since the period covered by the Liberian Catalogue. He argues that the author is 
now competent to supply them from memory. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. xlv, 253, n. 4. 

2 The situation of this church is now unknown, although it is mentioned in several 
early itineraries. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 253, n. 5. 

' The controversy of Simplicius with Acacius of Constantinople over Peter, the 
Monophysite bishop of Alexandria {supra, p. 106 and n. 2), was promptly taken up 
by Felix. The arrival in Rome of the orthodox claimant of the Alexandrian see, John 
Talaia, entreating the pope's assistance, was the signal for him to put forth every 
effort to induce Acacius to abandon Peter. The subsequent events are told in the 
main correctly in our text but their order has been inverted. The first step in Felix' 
proceedings was the sending in 483 of the envoys, Misenus, bishop of Cumae, and 
Vitalis, bishop of Truentum, to summon Acacius to appear before the pope and his 
council to answer for his contumacy. On their return in the following year Felix held a 
synod which condemned and anathematised Acacius and sent an advocate, "defen- 
sorem," with notification of the sentence to Acacius, to the emperor Zeno and to the 
clergy and people of Constantinople. The documents may be found in Jaffe, Re- 
gesta, vol. I, pp. 80-81, 591-595, 599-603. Cf. Puller, Primitive Saints and the See 
of Rome, pp. 376 ff. 



After 3 years another report came from the emperor Zeno that 
Acacius had returned and was penitent.^ Then Pope Felix 

held a council by agreement and | 

sent two bishops, Mesenus and Vitalis, so that if they found Aca- 
cius to be a confederate of Peter 

they might condemn them again they might condemn them, 
but if not they might offer him 
the code of penance." 

But they, when they had arrived at 


the city of Heraclea, 

the city of Constan- 

were corrupted with bribes given them by the aforesaid bishop 
and they did not carry out the injunctions of the apostolic see.^ 
And when they returned to Rome to the apostoHc see, 

Pope Fehx called a council and 
held an inquiry and 

at that time the venerable pope 
Felix called a synod and held a 
discussion and 

he found both bishops, that is Mesenus and Vitalis, guilty before 
the court and corrupted with bribes; and he expelled Mesenus 
and Vitahs, the bishops, from the communion. Then Mesenus 
confessed that he had been corrupted by a bribe 

and the council granted him an 
opportunity for penance."* 

1 This statement is quite fictitious. It was perhaps introduced by our author to 
give ground for the sending of Misenus and Vitalis. 

2 Misenus and Vitalis were given no such discretion in the affair as this account 
implies. They were commissioned simply to cite Acacius to a trial before the pope. 
A code of penance, "libellus paenitentije," was, however, in existence long before this 
time. The African synods of 251 and 255 referred to a "libellus," where the divers 
penalties for sins were written down. Schmitz, Die Bussbucher und die Bussdisciplin 
der Kirche, vol. I, pp. 17, 45, 107. 

3 In the documents pubhshed by Jaffe {supra, p. 108, n. 3), the pope accuses his 
envoys of disobedience to instructions in communicating with the heretical party, in 
acknowledging the authority of Peter and in accepting bribes. 

* Misenus and Vitalis were both deposed and excommunicated. Misenus was 
pardoned in after years by Pope Gelasius but Vitalis died before that time. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 254, nn. 12 and 13. 


This took place in the time of Odobacer, the king. 

5jS 'K 'p •!» 'I* •!» "l* ^ 1 

He was buried 

in the church of the blessed 

in the basilica of blessed Paul, 
the apostle. 

And the bishopric was empty 5 days. 

And after his death a regulation was made by the priests and 
deacons for the whole church 

that no one should ever pre- 
sume to show himself hasty in 
a matter which must sometime 
come up for examination.^ 

LI. Gelasius (492-496) 

Gelasius, by nationality an African, son of Valerius, occupied 
the see 4 years, 8 months and 18 days. He was bishop in the time 
of Theodoric, the king, and Zeno Augustus.^ 

In his time was found the church 
of the holy Angel on Mount 

1 List of ordinations. 

2 Felix III is the only pope buried at San Paolo. He may have chosen the spot 
in order to lie with his family. Supra, p. 107, n. 2. 

^ There is no other record of any action by the clergy during the interval between 
Felix' death and the consecration of Gelasius, but in the days between the death of 
Simplicius and the accession of Felix there had been an assembly of the Senate and clergy 
of Rome in the mausoleum of Santa Petronilla, adjoining the Vatican basilica. There it 
had been decided that no pope in the future should have power to alienate property 
belonging to the church as a whole. The decision was declared null by the Roman 
synod of 502 on account of the irregularity of the proceeding but Pope Symmachus 
issued a decree to the same effect during the sessions of the same synod and with its 
approval. The obscure clause of our text may be a reference to the decision which 
was annulled. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 254, n. 16. 

^ The synchronism is inexact. Zeno died in 491 and Anastasius was emperor during 
the pontificate of Gelasius. 

^ This sentence is found in only one manuscript and is undoubtedly a late inter- 
polation. The earliest existing description of the miraculous discovery of the sanctuary 
of St. Michael on Monte Gargano dates from the ninth century, although it purports 



In his time Manicheans were discovered in the city of Rome, 
whom he transported into exile and whose books he burned with 
fire before the doors of the basihca of the holy Mary.^ 

He, in accordance with a de- 
cree of the synod, after the laws 
of penance had been fulfilled, 
reinstated the purified bishop 
Mesenus with weeping and re- 
stored him to his church. This 
Mesenus had sinned in the mat- 
ter of Acacius and Peter.^ 

He, in accordance with a syn- 
odical decree, reinstated Me- 
senus, the bishop, in the com- 
munion and restored him to his 
church, after the laws of pen- 
ance had been fulfilled and Me- 
senus was purified and received 

He was a lover 
of the clergy and 

of the poor ^ and he increased the clergy. 

He deHvered the city of Rome from the peril of famine.'' 

to be taken from a "libellus" or record contained in the shrine itself. Waitz, 
Scriptores Rcrum Langobardkarum, p. 541 • Paul the Deacon mentions an oracle of the 
holy archangel on Monte Gargano which was plundered by the Greeks in the seventh 
century. History of the Lombards, tr. Foulke, Univ. of Peiiii. Transls. and Reprints, 
New Series, vol. 3, p. 200. 

1 There is no other reference in contemporary historians to the episode here nar- 
rated. If Duchesne's theory as to the date of the composition of the first part of the 
Lib. Pont, be correct, the author may either have witnessed the burning of the Mani- 
chean books or have heard of it from witnesses. Supra, Introduction; p. xi. 

2 We still possess the report of this synod, held in March, 495, and two "libelli" or 
declarations of Misenus which he presented to the assemblage, prostrating himself to the 
earth. On Misenus see supra, p. 108, n. 3 ; p. 109 and nn. 1-4. It is a satisfaction to 
find that in 4Q9 Misenus attended another council at Rome once more in his capacity of 
bishop of Cums. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 256, n. 4. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 88. 

3 Dionysius Exiguus, who knew of Gelasius through the priests he had trained, 
writes of him that he spent all his substance on the poor and died himself in poverty, 
that he looked upon his office as an opportunity to serve rather than to rule. Quoted 
by Duchesne, op. cit., p. 256, n. 5. 

4 About 494 Gelasius wrote a tractate in denunciation of the Lupercalia and the 
party that wished to revive the celebration of the pagan rites. In the course of it he 
asked, "As for your Castors, whose worship you refuse to abandon, why did they not 
give you tranquil seas so that the ships might reach here with grain in winter and the 
city suffer less with want ? " He wrote also to Firmina, a lady of rank, to request that 
lands belonging to St. Peter, which had been seized by the barbarian and Roman armies, 
should be restored to the church. They were needed, he said, for the support of the 
hungry multitudes who were flocking to Rome from the provinces which had been 
devastated by the wars. Jaffe, Regesta, pp. 89, 90, 672, 685. 


He made a regulation for the whole church.^ In his time an- 
other report came from Greece to the effect that many crimes and 
murders were being committed through Peter and Acacius 

in Constantinople.^ | 

At that time John of Alexandria, 
the catholic bishop, | 

fled and came to Rome to the apostolic see 

Then the blessed Gelasius re- 
ceived John 

and the blessed Gelasius re- 
ceived him with honor and be- 
stowed upon him also a second 
bishopric.^ Then he held a 
synod and sent throughout the 
countries of the East 

and he sent again and condemned eternally Acacius and Peter,^ 

if they should not do penance in 
accordance with the code and 
seek for absolution. 

if they did not repent ; notwith- 
standing he allowed them op- 
portunity for satisfying the 
apostolic see and displayed the 
clemency of the first see of the 

He dedicated the basilica of the holy Euphemia, the martyr, 
in the town of Tibur,^ 

^ There exists a comprehensive decretal by Gelasius in twenty-eight chapters on a 
variety of questions of church administration and discipline addressed to "all the bish- 
ops in Lucania, Bruttium and Sicily." Jaffe, Regesta, p. 85, 636. 

^ Both Acacius and Peter died before the accession of Gelasius. The reference 
here must be to parties of their adherents, unless the author is simply confusing his 
chronology, as he does below. On this whole controversy see supra, pp. 106-109 and 
notes. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 256, n. 8. 

^ John Talaia, orthodox bishop of Alexandria, had taken refuge in Rome ten years 
earlier, in 482, just as Felix III became pope. Supra, p. loS, n. 3. Gelasius continued 
to support John's cause. 

^ Gelasius held three synods at Rome, no one of which, so far as we know, concerned 
itself particularly with Acacius and Peter, whose case was regarded as settled. Gelasius 
instead wrote letters to various Eastern prelates, condemning all who did not concur 
in the sentence passed by his predecessor. Jaffe, Regesta, pp. 83-88, 620, 622, 638, 
639, 664, 665, 669. The clauses in our text, granting opportunity for penance, are 
obviously interpolations, Acacius and Peter being both dead. 

^ The basilica of St. Euphemia at Tivoli disappeared early. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 256, n. II. 


twenty miles from the city, 

and other basihcas | He dedicated also the basilica 

of the holy Nicander, Eleutherius 

and Andrew | 

on the Via Lavicana in the village Pertusa.^ 

He built also the | and another 

basihca of Holy Mary on the Via Laurentina in the estate 

twenty miles from the city.^ | 

He wrote treatises and 
hymns, as did blessed Ambrose, 
the bishop, and books against 
Eutyches and Nestorius, which 
to-day are kept preserved in the 
hbrary of the archives of the 

He wrote 5 books against 
Nestorius and Eutyches ; he 
wrote also hymns after the man- 
ner of the blessed Ambrose ; 
likewise two books against Arius ; 
he wrote also prefaces to the 
sacraments and prayers in care- 
ful language and many eloquent 
epistles regarding the faith.^ 

During his bishopric the clergy waxed greater. 
* * * * * * * *< 

I Sergius I, at the end of the seventh century, is said to have rebuilt an oratory to 
St. Andrew on the Via Labicana. It was perhaps the basihca or group of basilicas 
mentioned here. The site is now lost. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 256, n. 12. 

^ This church also is now unknown. 

' The hymns of Gelasius have all been lost, as also his refutations of Arianism. 
Jaffe lists among his writings one treatise on the dual nature of Christ "against Eutyches 
and Nestorius." Regesla, p. 89, 670. The prefaces and prayers were evidently parts 
of a liturgy. In the ninth century the Liber Sacramenlonim or office of Gelasius was 
distinguished from that of St. Gregory. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 257, n. 14. Jaffe 
enumerates over one hundred letters of Gelasius dealing with matters of doctrine, 
ecclesiastical government, morality and the temporal needs of his flock. Op. cit., pp. 
83~95) 619-743. One of the most striking was written in 494 to the emperor Anastasius, 
setting forth the superiority of the priestly to the civil power. "There are two powers 
which for the most part control this world, the sacred authority of priests and the 
might of kings. Of these two the office of the priests is the greater, inasmuch as they 
must give account to the Lord even for the kings before the divine judgment. . . . 
You know, therefore, that you are dependent upon their decision and that they will 
not submit to your will." Jaffe, op. cit., p. 85, 632. Ayer, Source Book, p. 531. 

* List of ordinations. 


He also v/as buried 

in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle, 

in the church of blessed Peter, 

November 21. 

after his death 

the bishopric was empty 7 days. 

LII. Anastasius II (496-498) 

Anastasius, by nationality a Roman, son of Peter,^ from the 
5th district, 

Tauma, | 

of the Caput Tauri,- occupied the see i year, 11 months and 24 
days. He was bishop in the time of Theodoric, the king. 

He set up the confession of blessed Lawrence, the martyr, of 

weighing 80 lbs. | which weighed 100 lbs. 

At that time many of the clergy and of the priests withdrew 
themselves from communion with him, because without consulting 

the priests or the bishops or the them 
clergy of all the catholic church 

he had communicated with a deacon of Thessalonica, Photinus by 
name, who was of the party of Acacius, and because he desired 
secretly to reinstate Acacius and could not. And he was struck 
dead by divine will.^ 

1 The epitaph of Anastasius states that his father was a priest. Duchesne, Lib. 
Pont., vol. I, p. 25Q, n. 5. 

2 For this district see supra, p. 10, n. 3. 

3 This notice of Anastasius is bitter with the feeling engendered by the controversy 
with the Eastern church, which had begun under Pope Simplicius and which under Felix 
III and Gelasius had resulted in an open schism between the Western branch, led by 
Rome, and the Eastern patriarchates and the emperor. See supra, pp. 106, 108, 100, 112. 
Anastasius IT, upon his accession, sent two bishops to the emperor to beg that the seam- 
less tunic of the Savior be no longer rent for the sake of a single dead man. He did 
not propose to retract the censure of Felix III upon Acacius and his tenets but suggested 


* * * * * * * *i 

And he also was buried 

in the church of blessed Peter in 
the Vatican,^ 

in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle, 

November 19. 

And the bishopric was empty 4 days. 

LIII. Symmachus (498-514) 

Symmachus, by nationahty a Sardinian,^ son of Fortunatus, 
occupied the see 15 years, 7 months and 27 days. 
He was bishop in the time of Theodoric, 

the heretic, ^ I the king, 

and Anastasius Augustus, 

the Eutychian, 1 

from November 22 to July 19. 

that Acacius' name be allowed'to drop and assured the emperor that the baptisms and 
ordinations performed by Acacius and his followers would be accepted as valid at Rome. 
Jaffe, Regcsla, vol. I, p. 95, 744. These overtures produced an effect at least upon the 
bishop of Thessalonica, who thereupon had the letter of Gelasius denouncing Acacius 
read publicly in the churches of his diocese and who dispatched a deacon, Photinus, to 
renew in his behalf communion with the Roman see. Jaffe, ibid., 746. Unfortunately 
a zealot party at Rome disapproved of the pope's conciliatory attitude and ascribed to 
him, as in the text, a design to abandon the principles and to rescind the acts of Felix III 
and Gelasius. Thus arose a schism within the Roman church itself which was to 
break out violently after Anastasius' death. The fact that Anastasius died soon after 
his resumption of relations with the church at Thessalonica was looked upon by his 
opponents as a clear proof of divine displeasure. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. xliii and 
258, n. 3. 

1 List of ordinations. 

2 Duchesne gives his epitaph. Op. cit., p. 259, n. 5. 

3 Symmachus said of himself that he came out of paganism and learned the catholic 
faith at Rome. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 263, n. i. 

* Mommsen argues that if the Lib. Pont, had been composed early in the sixth 
century under Ostrogothic rule, as Duchesne maintains that it was, the derogatory 
epithet of "heretic" could not have been applied to Theodoric. Mommsen, Lib. 
Pont., p. xvii. On Theodoric's relations with the Roman Church see Gregorovius, 
History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 3ii~333- 


He loved the clergy and the 
poor ; he was a good man and 
sagacious, kindly and courteous, 
and at the time of his ordination 
Laurentius also was ordained be- 
cause of a dissension in the 

Symmachus in the basilica of Constantine and Laurentius in the 
basihca of the blessed Mary. 

He was ordained on the same 
day with Laurentius because 
there was a dissension. 

one party of the clergy and also 
of the senators was divided from 
the rest 

the clergy was separated into 
parties and the senate also was 

and some supported Symmachus and others Laurentius. And 
after the dissension had arisen 

they all alike | the parties 

decided that both factions should betake themselves to Ravenna 
for the judgment of Theodoric.- And 

when they had come 

when they had both arrived at 

they received this righteous judgment, that he who had been first 
ordained or who 

was supported by | was known to have 

the largest party should occupy the apostoHc see. Thus through 
justice and perception of the truth Symmachus was selected and 
made bishop. At that time Pope Symmachus assembled a synod 
and appointed Laurentius bishop of the town of Nuceria out of 

1 There is no mention here of the theological and political reasons underlying the 
split in the Roman church but the situation may be better appreciated if the reader 
recalls the beginning of discord under Anastasius II. Supra, p. 1 1 4 and n. 3. Lauren- 
tius seems to have been the candidate of the party that desired more compromise with 
the Eastern church. 

2 Other versions of the story say that the contending parties were forced to accept 
the arbitration of Theodoric. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 263, n. 4. 

' The acts of the synod of Italian bishops, held under the presidency of Symmachus 
in 499, have been preserved. They consist chiefly of measures to prevent confusion in 


But after 4 years ^ some of the clergy and some of the senate, 
in particular Festus and Probinus, full of zeal 

and craft, | 

brought charges against Symmachus and suborned false witnesses 

whom they sent to King Theodoric, 

the heretic, I 

at Ravenna to accuse the blessed Symmachus ; and they recalled 

Laurentius stealthily 

to Rome, I 

after the accusation had been drawn up at Rome ; and they created 

a schism and 

the clergy was divided again and 
some communicated with Sym- 
machus and some with Lauren- 

a party withdrew itself from 
communion with Symmachus. - 

and asked King Theodoric to 
send Peter of Altinum ^ as an 
inspector to the apostolic see. 

Then the senators Festus and Probinus sent a report to the king 

and began to negotiate with the 
king to send an inspector to the 
apostohc see. Then the king 
sent Peter, bishop of the town 
of Altinum, although the canons 
forbade it. 

future papal elections. During the synod Laurentius was appointed bishop of Nocera. 
Jaffe, Rcgesta, vol. I, p. 96. Hefele, op. cit., vol. II, p. 958. 

1 In fact early in 501. 

2 The first accusation brought by the malcontents against Symmachus concerned 
the date of Easter. Symmachus had celebrated that festival in 501 on March 25, 
following the old Roman calendar. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 97, 754. His adversaries com- 
plained that he should have adopted the Greek reckoning, which brought the date to 
April 22. Symmachus went to Rimini to lay his case before Theodoric and while there 
learned of other and graver charges which were being preferred against him : viz., 
violation of chastity and misuse of church property. Thereupon, without waiting to 
face Theodoric, he fled back to Rome by night and entrenched himself in the buildings of 
the Vatican. The hostile party took advantage of his flight to prevail upon Theodoric 
to send a "visitor" or inspector to Rome in order to celebrate Easter at the proper 
season, as the emperor Honorius had done at the time of the dissension between Boni- 
face I and Eulalius. Supra, p. 89, n. 4 ; p. 90. The act, however, was tantamount to a 
declaration that the see of Rome was vacant or contested. Symmachus was bound to 
resent it as a negation of all his rights. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 264, n. 8. Jaffe, ibid., p. 97. 

^ The modern Altino near Venice. 



Then the blessed Symmachus assembled 115 bishops and in the 
synod was acquitted of the false accusation and Peter of Altinum, 
the intruder upon the apostohc see, and Laurentius of Nuceria were 
condemned, because during the hfetime of the bishop Symmachus 
they had invaded his see.^ Then the blessed Symmachus was 
reinstated with glory in the apostohc see by all the bishops, priests 
and deacons and all the clergy and the people, to sit as bishop in 
the church of the blessed Peter. 

Then Festus, the patrician, 
began to slaughter in the city 
the clergy who were communi- 
cating with the blessed Symma- 
chus ^ and he expelled conse- 
crated women from their dwell- 

At that time Festus, the ex- 
consul and leader of the senate,- 
and Probinus, the exconsul, be- 
gan to fight in the city of Rome 
with other senators, in particu- 
lar with Faustus, the exconsul, 

1 The Roman synod of 501 was convened to pass on the whole situation by order 
of Theodoric and with the consent of Symmachus. It held three sessions, the first 
during the spring or early summer at the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. At this 
session Symmachus agreed to appear, waiving the claim of his see not to be judged 
by inferiors and overlooking the fact that Theodoric had seized the lands and buildings 
of the church, leaving him only St. Peter's. The second session met in September at 
the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme on the farther side of the city. Symma- 
chus set out to cross from the Vatican but was attacked by a band of enemies on the 
way and many of the priests accompanying him were killed. Thereafter Symmachus 
remained shut up in the Vatican and refused to attend another session of the synod. 
Nevertheless in October the assembled bishops declared that they could find no reason 
why he should not continue in full enjoyment of his office and left the accusations 
against him to the judgment of God. They solemnly condemned both Laurentius and 
Peter of Altino, Theodoric's "visitor." In November, 502, Symmachus on his own 
initiative called another synod of bishops, which proceeded to annul an irregular decree 
forbidding the pope to alienate church property, that seems to have been employed by 
Symmachus' opponents as a basis for their charges against him. Supra, p. no, n. 3. 
The synod indeed passed other ordinances prohibiting the pope to dispose of rural 
property but allowing him to sell city houses which cost too much to maintain. In 505 
Symmachus petitioned Theodoric to compel the patrician Festus, the instigator of the 
violence which continued to harass the city, to abstain from further opposition and to 
order Laurentius to leave Rome. Dioscorus, a young deacon from Alexandria, 
was able to persuade Theodoric to take this step and Symmachus resumed possession 
of all the churches and ecclesiastical estates. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 264, n. 10. Jaffe, 
Rcgesta, pp. 97-98. Hefele, he. cit. Dioscorus' powers of eloquence served the 
Roman church even more conspicuously later. Infra, pp. 127-130. 

2 Festus was consul in 472, Probinus in 489 and Faustus in 490. They are all 
three mentioned as persons of high reputation in a contemporary work by Ennodius. 
Opusc. VI. Quoted by Duchesne, op. cit., p. 265, n. 12. 

3 This passage is not probably descriptive of any one occasion but of the general 



ings, and stripped women of 
their clothing and beat them 
with clubs and he killed many 
priests there, 

and. in their hatred, to commit 
slaughter and murder upon the 
clergy who rightfully commu- 
nicated with the blessed Sym- 
machus and they killed with the 
sword publicly those who were 
found within the city. Also 
they expelled consecrated women 
and virgins from their convents 
and their dwellings and they 
stripped women of their clothing 
and wounded them with blows 
and stripes ; and daily they 
waged war against the church 
in the midst of the city. Like- 
wise they slew many priests, 

among them Dignissimus and Gordianus,^ priests of Saint - Peter, 
the apostle, "ad Vincula," and of Saints John and Paul, whom they 
did to death with cudgels and sword ; also many other Christians, 
so that it was unsafe for one of the clergy to walk abroad in the city 
by day or by night. Only Faustus, the exconsul, fought for the 

After all this the blessed Symmachus found Manicheans in the 
city of Rome and burned with fire all their images and books before 

state of lawlessness and tumult which lasted during the years before Symmachus was 
finally and decisively reinstated. The people as a whole seem to have supported 
Symmachus but a party of the clergy and a majority of the Senate were bitter against 

1 The name of Dignissimus does not appear on the list of parish priests who took 
part in the synod of 499, perhaps because the basilica which he served was not counted 
among the parish churches. Gordianus is registered as priest of Santi Giovanni e 
Paolo. He was the father of Pope Agapitus. /»/rd, p. 143 and n. 6. Both undoubtedly 
perished early in the disturbances, for neither was among the priests loyal to Sym- 
machus who attended the synod of November, 502. Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 265, n. 13- 

2 From the sixth century onward the word "sanctus" was an official title, applied 
only to the distinguished dead who were publicly venerated in the churches, no longer 
a general epithet for all bishops or even, as in primitive times, for all believers, living 
or dead. Hereafter, therefore, in our text the word will usually be translated "saint," 
instead of the vaguer "holy." 

3 The church of San Pietro in Vincoli was built during the fifth century by the 
empress Eudoxia to receive the relic of the chains of Peter. 


the doors of the basilica of Constantine and condemned them to 

He was bishop from the consulship of Paulinus (a.d. 498) to 
the consulship of Senator (a.d. 514).^ 

He built the basilica of Saint Andrew, the apostle, near the 
basilica of the blessed Peter.^ 

*|C *(• •!* ^* *i* *p ^1* ^j* 4 

Also he adorned with marbles the basilica of blessed Peter. 

The fountain of blessed Peter with the square portico around it 
he beautified with marble work and with lambs and crosses and 
palms of mosaic. Likewise he enclosed the whole atrium ; and 
he widened the steps before the doors of the basilica of Saint Peter, 
the apostle, and he made other steps of wood on the right and on 
the left. Also he built palaces in the same place on the right and 
on the left. Also, below the steps into the atrium, outside in the 

^ This event must have taken place after the emperor Anastasius accused Sym- 
machus himself of being a Manichean, probably during the latter half of his pontificate. 
Symmachus wrote an A pologeticus in his own defence. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 265, n. 14. 
Jaffe, Rcgesla, p. 99, 761. 

2 This is the first consular synchronism since the close of the Libcrian Catalogue. 
Synchronisms are given for the three following popes as well. Duchesne regards their 
appearance here as another proof that the Lib. Pont, was first compiled between 514 
and 530. Op. cit., p. xlv. 

3 Symmachus was peculiarly concerned to enlarge and beautify the basilica of St. 
Peter, perhaps out of gratitude for the shelter it afforded him during his years of 
struggle, 501-506. The basilica of St. Andrew was a rotonda which stood beside the 
church of St. Peter until it was demolished by Pius VI to make room for the present 
sacristy. It seems to have been built originally during the fifth century, together with 
a second circular structure which stood behind it and was connected with it and with 
St. Peter's by a gallery. The two were apparently intended as mausoleums for the 
family of Theodosius and the rear building actually contained some imperial tombs. It 
was called in the Middle Ages the chapel of Santa Petronilla. The rotonda which 
Symmachus now converted into a church and dedicated to St. Andrew had presumably 
never been used as a mausoleum and was empty until he furnished it. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 265, n. 16. 

^ List of gifts to the shrine of St. Andrew and of four oratories constructed within 
the rotonda ; also of three oratories built about the baptistery of St. Peter, which stood 
at the end of the north transept of the basilica. These last three oratories were dedi- 
cated to the Holy Cross, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist respec- 
tively, as were the oratories attached to the baptistery of the Lateran. Supra, p. 103. 
Symmachus may have equipped the Vatican baptistery to serve instead of the Lateran 
during his e.xclusion from the latter. 



square, he set another fountain and an accommodation for human 

And he built other steps for ascent into the church of blessed 
Andrew and set up a fountain. 

He built the basihca of the holy martyr Agatha on the Via 
Aureha on the estate Lardarium ; - from the foundation he built it 
and offered there 2 silver coffers.^ 

At that time he built the basihca of Saint Pancratius,^ where 
also he set a silver coffer, weighing 15 lbs. ; he built hkewise in the 
same place a bath. 

Also in the church of blessed Paul, the apostle, he rebuilt the 
apse of the basihca, which was falling into ruin, and he embellished 
it with a picture behind the confession and he made a vaulting and 
a transept ; and over the confession he erected a silver image of the 
Savior and the 12 apostles, which weighed 120 lbs. ; and before the 
doors of the basilica he built steps into the atrium and a fountain ; 
and behind the apse he brought down water and built there a bath 
from the foundation.^ 

^ This account of the completion and adornment of the atrium before St. Peter's 
is not altogether clear. One gathers that Symmachus finished and decorated the fa- 
mous fountain of the bronze pine cone and the walls of the atrium, widened the stairway 
leading up to the atrium and built a palace or papal residence on either side. It is 
not plain what was the purpose of the steps that went to right and left, unless they 
were approaches to the palaces. The second fountain was shaped like a shell and 
stood apparently before the entrance to the atrium. Of course there is now no trace 
of these arrangements. Only the bronze pine cone is preserved in a courtyard of the 
Vatican palace. 

2 It is uncertain where this basilica stood. 

^ Boxes or coffers of hammered silver were used as reliquaries. Some few exam- 
ples from this period are still preserved. See for illustration Lowrie, Christian Art and 
Archaology, pp. 360-361 ; Dalton, Byzantine Art and ArchcBology, pp. 563-564. 

^ San Pancrazio on the Via Aurelia over the martyr's tomb. The modern church 
has been much restored. After the Gothic wars the city gate which led to this basilica 
was called Porta San Pancrazio instead of Porta Aurelia. The last years of Symmachus 
were passed in the comparative peace and order of Theodoric's reign. The civil 
government took up vigorously the work of repairing public buildings, palaces, theatres, 
aqueducts, etc., and furnished bricks and other materials to the church for its restora- 
tions and new enterprises. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 69-71. Gregorovius, 
History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 290-308. 

^ San Paolo has passed through so many vicissitudes that it is impossible now to 
identify any handiwork of Symmachus. Behind the apse of the basilica is the public 
street and beyond that on the hUl the cemetery of Lucina. An inscription of the sixth 
or seventh century, however, speaks of a bath built in a cemetery and of water brought 


Within the city of Rome he built the basiHca of Saints Silvester 
and Martin from its foundation, near 

the baths I 

of Trajan ^ and there also he set a silver ciborium above the altar, 
which weighed 120 lbs.; 12 silver coffers, which weighed each 10 
lbs. ; a silver confession, which weighed 15 lbs. 

For the blessed John and Paul he built steps behind the apse.^ 

Also he enlarged the basihca of the archangel Michael and 
built steps and brought in water. ^ 

Also he erected from its foundation an oratory of Saints Cosma 
and Damian beside Saint Mary.'^ 

Also on the Via Trivana, 27 miles from the city of Rome, on the 
estate Pacinianum, he dedicated a basiHca to blessed Peter at the 
request of Albinus and Glaphyra, the illustrious praetorian pre- 
fects, who built it from the foundation at their own expense.^ 

Also near blessed Peter and blessed Paul, 

the apostles, 

and near Saint Lawrence, 

the martyr, 

he erected lodging houses for the poor.^ 

in by means of wheels and pulleys. The reference may be to the bath of Symmachus. 
Duchesne, op. cil., p. 267, n. 34. 

1 A church had been built on this site two hundred years before by Pope Sylvester. 
Supra, p. 42, n. I. It seems likely that Symmachus restored or enriched the earlier 
structure and added another close beside it, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. The two 
basilicas were later spoken of as one under the title Sts. Sylvester and Martin. In 
course of time the name of St. Martin predominated and the modern church is known 
as San Martino ai Monti. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 267, n. 35. 

2 The flight of steps down the hill behind the apse is a feature of Santi Giovanni e 
Paolo to-day. 

' The tomb of Hadrian was not consecrated to the archangel until the seventh 
century. It is not known what basilica to St. Michael existed as early as the age of 
Symmachus, although three are said to have stood within the city at the beginning 
of the ninth century. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 268, n. 36. 

* Now disappeared. 

^ The site is unknown. Via Trivana may be a corruption for Via Tiberina, the 
road which branches off from the Via Flaminia at Saxa Rubra. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 268, n. 37. 

^ Whether these lodgings were for impoverished citizens of Rome or for impecunious 
pilgrims from a distance, they testify to the increasing scope of church activity. 


:|c * * * * 1 

He appointed that on every Lord's day and anniversary of the 
martyrs the hymn, "Gloria in excelsis," should be repeated.^ 

He set in order the cemetery of the Jordani for the sake of the 
body of Saint Alexander.^ 

He every year sent rehef of money and garments to the bishops 
who had been driven into exile throughout Africa and Sardinia.^ 

He redeemed with money captives in Liguria and Milan and 
divers provinces and bestowed gifts upon them and let them go 

:f: 6 

in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle. 

He also was buried 

in the church of the blessed 
Peter,^ July 19, 
in peace. 

And the bishopric was empty 7 days. And he slept in peace as 

a confessor.^ 

He was buried the 19th day 
of the month of July. 

^ List of gifts to St. Peter and of repairs to the basilicas of St. Felicitas and St. 
Agnes, both of which are said to have been falling into ruin. 

2 Before the time of Symmachus the angelic hymn was chanted only at the papal 
mass on Christmas night. Supra, p. 13 and n. 2. 

3 This cemetery is on the Via Salaria Nova, not far from the church of St. Agnes. 
It contained the tomb of the martyr Alexander, one of the sons of St. Felicitas, and 
sepulchres of other saints. The discovery of this cemetery in 1578 led to the opening 
up of the other catacombs of Rome. Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, ch. VII. 

* Trasamond, king of the Vandals, about 508 drove the African bishops into exile in 
Sardinia. For a letter of Symmachus to these refugees see Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 99, 


s We possess no other information regarding the captives said to have been ran- 
somed by Symmachus in Northern Italy but the country was overrun by Gothic bands 
and life and liberty must have been precarious. 

* List of ordinations. 

"> John the Deacon in the ninth century mentions the tombs of Leo I, Simplicius 
and Symmachus which he had seen in the portico of the Vatican. Vita Saudi Gregorii, 
IV, 68; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 75. Both tombs and epitaphs have disappeared. 

8 Duchesne remarks that this epithet, like the other laudatory terms applied to 
Symmachus, show that our author felt a particular sympathy for and interest in this 
pope as one with whose difficulties he had been himself acquainted. Op. cit., p. 268, 
n. 46. Mommsen is of the opinion that the author was merely following a good 
source which has since been lost. Lib. Pont., p. xvii. 



LIV. HORMISDAS (514-523) 

Hormisdas, by nationality a Campanian, son of Justus, from 
the town of Frisino/ occupied the see 9 years and 17 days. He 
was bishop in the time of Theodoric, the king, and Anastasius Au- 
gustus,- from the consulship of Senator (a.d. 514) to the consulship 
of Symmachus and Boethius (a.d. 522). He set the clergy in order ^ 
and taught them from the Psalms. He built a basilica in the 
Alban district on the estate Mefontis.'^ 

By authority of his bishop- 
ric and by decree of a synod 
and in accordance with the clem- 
ency of the apostohc see he sent 
to Greece and reconciled the 
Greeks who had been in bond- 
age of the anathema, because of 
Peter of Alexandria and Aca- 
cius of Constantinople.^ 

This pope sent to King 

At that time by a decree of a 
synod he sent to Greece and dis- 
played the clemency of the 
apostolic see, 

for the Greeks had been bound 
by the chain of the anathema, 
because of Peter of Alexandria 
and Acacius, bishop of Con- 
stantinople, under John, bishop 
of Constantinople.^ 

By advice of King Theo- 

' A town in ancient Latium, the modern Frosinone. The name Campania is here 
applied in the medieval sense to the region around Rome. 

2 To be quite exact the author should have added the name of Justin, who was 
emperor from 518 to 523. 

^ This may mean that Hormisdas did his utmost to efface the vestiges of the schism 
which had rent the church under his predecessor. His epitaph says that he restored 
"the members torn from their wonted places." Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 272, n. 4. 

* The spot is now unknown. 

^ The following account of the negotiations of Hormisdas with the Eastern emperor 
and the final reconciliation of the Eastern church is substantially correct, the version 
in the first column from the Felician Epitome being in the main more accurate than 
that in the second. The insurrection of Vitalian in 514 forced the emperor to propitiate 
orthodo.x opinion and to propose the settlement of differences at a general council to 
be held at Heraclea under the presidency of the pope. Hormisdas agreed to partici- 
pate in the council, provided that the Eutychian heresy should be expressly anathema- 
tised during the proceedings and the acts of the Council of Chalcedon should be ratified. 
Supra, p. 106, n. 2. In the summer of 515 he sent the legates mentioned in the 
text to discuss with the emperor the conditions of church reunion. Jaffe, Regesta, 
vol. I, p. loi, 771, 773, 777. 

* John was not bishop at Constantinople until 518, toward the close of the events 
about to be narrated. Timotheus was his predecessor. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 272, n. 6. 



Theodoric at Ravenna and by 
advice of the king he dispatched 
Ennodius, bishop of Ticinum/ 
and Fortunatus, bishop of Ca- 
thena,^ and Evantius, a priest of 
the city, and VitaHs, a deacon of 
the city. 

They went to Anastasius Au- 
gustus and proposed that the 
Greeks should do penance ac- 
cording to the code and be rein- 
stated but they effected nothing.^ 

Likewise a second time ■* 
Hormisdas sent Ennodius and 
Peregrinus, the bishops, and 
Pollio, a subdeacon of the city, 
and they carried with them 
secret letters and arguments for 
the faith, 19 in number, and the 
code of penance, by means of 
which the Greeks might be 

doric he dispatched Ennodius, 
bishop of Ticinum, and Fortu- 
natus, bishop of Catina, and 
Venantius, a priest of the city of 
Rome, and VitaHs, a deacon of 
the apostolic see, and Hilary, a 
notary of the aforesaid see. 

They went to Anastasius 

but effected nothing. 

Likewise a second time he 
sent the same Ennodius and 
Peregrinus, bishop of Mesena,^ 
carrying secret letters and argu- 
ments in support of the faith, 19 
in number, and the text of the 
code of penance. 

1 The modern Pavia. 

^ A corruption for Catina, the modern Catania in Sicily. 

' By 516 Anastasius was no longer afraid of Vitalian and accordingly sent the pope's 
embassy home with a letter declining his proposal. 

^ Anastasius, not wishing to appear to discourage altogether the agitation for 
ecclesiastical reunion, next sent an embassy of his own to the pope and the Roman 
senate with counter propositions. In February, 517, Hormisdas was writing in an irri- 
tated and despondent tone about the hoUowness of the Greek professions. In April of 
that same year, however, he had been himself persuaded to send a second deputation 
to Constantinople. It carried with it letters to the emperor, to Timotheus, bishop of 
Constantinople, to Possessor, an African bishop sojourning at the capital, to the 
orthodox clergy, monks and populace of the city, to the orthodox bishops of the Orient 
and finally to all Eastern bishops without distinction of party. The orthodox were 
approved and urged to remain constant ; the rest reminded that they must return to 
the rock on which the church was built. Jaffe, Regesta, pp. 102-103, 784, 789-794. 
The Lih. Pont, also speaks of an argument in nineteen headings and a code of penance. 
No copy of the argument is known to exist. The copies distributed in the East were 
destroyed, as our text relates. Felix III had already offered the penitential code to 
the erring Greeks. Supra, p. loS and n. 3 ; p. 109. 

^ Messina. 



restored ; and if the Greeks re- 
fused to receive the arguments 
of the letters, the bishops were 
to distribute them among the 

And Anastasius Augustus re- 
fused to accept their offer, be- 
cause he beheved in the heresy 
of Euthices.^ Therefore he tried 
to corrupt the bishops with a 
bribe but they despised the 
prince and would not take the 

The emperor, hot with anger, 
sent them forth by a dangerous 
place and embarked them on a 
ship in peril of death with a cap- 
tain and a prefect, Heliodorus 
and Demetrius. And the em- 
peror gave command that they 
should not enter any city. 

Nevertheless the bishops se- 
cretly dispatched the above men- 
tioned 19 letters on the faith 
through all the cities by the 
hands of cathoUc monks. 

But these letters were re- 
ceived by bishops of the cities 
who agreed with Anastasius 
Augustus, the heretic, and in 
fear they forwarded them all to 

And Anastasius Augustus re- 
fused to accept the code of pen- 
ance, because he himself shared 
in the Euthycian heresy. 
Therefore he tried to corrupt the 
legates with a bribe but the 
legates of the apostolic see de- 
spised Anastasius Augustus and 
would not take the money, unless 
he would render satisfaction to 
the apostolic see. Then the em- 
peror, full of wrath, sent them 
forth by a back way and em- 
barked them on a dangerous 
ship with soldiers and captains 
and prefects, HeHodorus and 

And the emperor Anastasius 
gave command that they should 
not enter any city. 

Nevertheless the legates of the 
apostolic see secretly dispatched 
the above mentioned 19 letters 
on the faith through all the cities 
by the hands of orthodox monks. 

But these letters were re- 
ceived by bishops of the cities 
who were of the party of Anas- 
tasius Augustus and in fear for- 
warded all the letters on the 

1 The details of the failure of the second mission to Anastasius are recorded only 
in the Lib. Pont. 



Constantinople to the hands of 

Anastasius in rage wrote to 
Pope Hormisdas and said among 
other impious things : "We wish 
to command you not to lay com- 
mands upon us." ^ Then, struck 
by a blow from the divine thun- 
derbolt, Anastasius perished.^ 

So Justin, the orthodox, suc- 
ceeded to the empire and he sent 
to the apostolic see, to Pope 
Hormisdas, Gratus, a man of 
illustrious name, and asked that 
legates might be commissioned 
by the apostolic see.^ 

Then, by advice of King 
Theodoric, Hormisdas sent Ger- 
manus, bishop of Capua, and 
John, the bishop, and Blandus, 
a priest, and Felix, a deacon of 
the apostolic see, and Dioscorus, 
a deacon of the aforesaid see,"* 
and he fortified them on every 

faith as criminal to Constan- 

Full of rage Anastasius wrote 
against Pope Hormisdas and 
among other impious things said 
this : " We wish to command you 
not to lay commands upon us." 
At that time by the will of 
God Anastasius was struck 
by the divine thunderbolt and 

So Justin, the orthodox, suc- 
ceeded to the empire and he sent 
with his authority to Pope 
Hormisdas and the apostohc see 
Gratus, a man of illustrious 
name, to request of the apostohc 
see that the peace of the churches 
might be restored. 

Then Hormisdas, the bishop, 
by advice of King Theodoric, 
sent from the apostolic see Ger- 
manus, bishop of Capua, and 
John and Blandus, a priest, and 
Felix and Dioscorus, deacons of 
the apostolic see, and Peter, a 
notary, and he instructed them 

^ The text of the imperial letter is printed in Thiel, EpistolcB Romanorum Pontificum, 
vol. I, p. 813. It is dated July 11,517, and ends with the words, "We can endure to be 
insulted and to be made of no effect ; we cannot endure to be commanded." Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 273, n. 12. 

- Several writers of the time mention a great storm on the day of the death of 
Anastasius. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 273, n. 13. 

^ August I, 518, Justin wrote to Hormisdas to announce his accession, and in Septem- 
ber of the same year he sent Gratus, " vir clarissimus," to reopen the question of reunit- 
ing the divided church. The emperor's letter is in Thiel, Epistola, vol. I, p. 831. 
Hormisdas' answers are summarized in Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 104, 801, 802. 

^ This Dioscorus had already proved his talents of eloquence and persuasion. 
Supra, p. 118, n. I. Being an Alexandrian he, of course, was famihar with the Greek 
language and point of view and was especially qualified for a part in the mission. 



point of faith and gave them the 
code of penance, by means of 
which the Greeks might return 
to communion with the apos- 
tolic see.^ 

And when they drew near to 

there came out to meet them a 
multitude of monks and a host 
of distinguished men, among 
whom were the emperor Justin 
and VitaUanus, master of the 
soldiery, and they escorted 
them from the so-called Round 
Castle into the city of Con- 

With glory and praise they 
entered the city together with 
the illustrious Gratus. 

So after their entrance into 
the city they were gloriously re- 
ceived by Justin Augustus, the 

Then all the clergy of Con- 
stantinople and John, the bishop, 
knowing that these men had 
been joyfully received, 

on every point of faith and gave 
them the text of the code of 

And when they drew near to 
Constantinople they were so 
radiant with the grace of faith 
that a multitude of orthodox 
monks and a vast host of dis- 
tinguished men, among whom 
were the emperor Justin and the 
consul Vitalianus, came to meet 
them and escorted them from 
the so-called Round Castle into 
the city of Constantinople. 

With glory and praise they 
entered the city together with 
the illustrious Gratus. 

And they were gloriously re- 
ceived by Justin Augustus, the 

Then all the clergy and John, 
the bishop of Constantinople, 
knowing that these men had 
been joyously received, also they 

1 The instructions given by Hormisdas to the legates have been preserved and may 
be found in Mansi, Amplissima CollecHo, vol. VIII, p. 441, and in Migne, Pa^. Lat., vol. 
63, P- 433- Jaffe, Regesta, p. 104, 805. 

2 An ofl&cial report from the envoys to the pope, describing their enthusiastic recep- 
tion at Constantinople, and a special report from the deacon Dioscorus on the same 
topic are printed in Thiel, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 857-859. They mention among the gran- 
dees who met them and escorted them to the gates the count Justinian, then an influ- 
ential minister of the emperor Justin. The author of the Lib. Pont, has taken the name 
for that of the emperor and has therefore mistakenly represented Justin himself as 
being among the escorts. A sentence or two later he explicitly says that Justin re- 
ceived the Romans after their arrival in the city. 



shut themselves up in the great 
church which is called Santa 
Sophia and held a council and 
sent word unto the emperor, say- 
ing, ''Unless the reason be ex- 
pounded to us why Acacius, the 
bishop of our city, was con- 
demned, we make no agreement 
with the apostolic see." 

And a council was held be- 
fore Justin Augustus, in the 
presence of all the nobility, and 
the legates of the apostolic see 
chose Dioscorus, the deacon, 
from among themselves to ex- 
pound the reason. And he set 
forth to them the guilt of Aca- 
cius so clearly that they all, even 
Justin Augustus, cried out to- 
gether, saying, "Damnation to 
Acacius here and in eternity ! " 
At that time Justin Augustus 
accepted the truth and gave 
command that every bishop 
within the realm of Justin should 
satisfy the code of penance with- 
out delay and return to com- 
munion with the apostolic see. 
And this came to pass and there 
was harmony from the East 
unto the West and the peace of 
the church prevailed. And the 
text of the code of penance is 
kept laid up in the archives of 
the church unto this day.^ 

who had been associated with 
Anastasius, | Acacius, 
shut themselves up in the great 
church which is called Santa 
Sophia and held a council and 
sent word unto the emperor, 
saying, "Unless the reason be 
expounded to us why our bishop 
Acacius was condemned, we 
make no agreement with the 
apostohc see." 

An extract from Dioscorus' account of the hearing given to the envoys before 



This pope Hormisdas sent to 
King Theodoric at Ravenna ^ 
and by his advice dehvered 
authority to Justin and restored 
him to unity with the apostolic 
see through the seal of his auto- 
graph and the code of penance 
and condemned Peter and 
Acacius and all heresies. 

He found Manicheans and shattered them 

with a multitude of | and tried them by 

blows and sent them into exile ; and 

he destroyed | he burned 

their books with fire before the doors of the basilica of Constantine.^ 
In his days the bishopric 

of Africa, which had been abol- 
ished by the heretics in the time 
of persecution, was reestablished 
after 74 years.^ 

At that time there came 
a golden crown, 

in Africa, which had been abol- 
ished by the heretics, was re- 
stored after 74 years. 

a diadem, 

the emperor, the Byzantine senate and the leaders of the church is quoted by Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 273-274, n. 19. Dioscorus says that the reading of the pope's letters and the 
code of penance produced conviction at once and modestly makes nothing of his own 
part in bringing about the happy termination. A letter from Hormisdas, however, 
written to Dioscorus in December of the same year, expresses his thankfulness for 
what God had done through him and his own intention of asking the emperor to bestow 
on Dioscorus the bishopric of Alexandria as a reward for his labors. Jaffe, Regesta, 
p. 107, 842. A "libellus pasnitentiae " or penitential code of the year 517 is printed in 
Thiel, Epistolce, vol. I, p. 755. 

1 The author of this second text places the expedition of Hormisdas to Ravenna 
during the reign of Justin and connects it with the successful negotiations of 519. The 
author of the first text places it under Anastasius as a part of the fruitless ventures of 


2 This episode is mentioned only in the Lib. Pont. 

^ The reestablishment of the orthodox church in the Vandal kingdom of Africa 
took place immediately on the death of Trasamond, May, 523. News of the event 
must have reached Rome shortly before the death of Hormisdas in August of the same 
year. The figure 74, given here for the duration of the term of Catholic persecution, 



set with precious stones, from the king of the Franks, Cloduveus, 
for a gift to blessed Peter, the apostle. ^ 

During his episcopate many gold and silver vessels came from 
Greece, and the gospels with golden covers and precious stones, 
which weighed 15 lbs. ; ^ 

* * * * * * * *3 

These all were sent as a thank offering by Justin Augustus, the 

* * * * * * * *4 

He also was buried 

in the church of blessed Peter,^ 

in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle, 

August 6, in the consulship of Maximus, 
the younger (a.d. 523). | 

And the bishopric was empty 6 days. 

LV. John I (523-526) 

John, by nationaHty a Tus- 
can, son of Constantius, occu- 
pied the see 2 years, 9 months 

John, by nationality a Tus- 
can, son of Constantius, occu- 
pied the see 2 years, 9 months 

should probably be 84. The latter would carry one back to 439> the year when Car- 
thage was captured by Genseric and the clergy of the city were driven into exile. Du- 
chesne, op. cit., p. 274, n. 22. 

1 Clovis died in 5 1 1 , three years before the accession of Hormisdas. It is possible, 
however, that there had been a delay in the transportation of his votive crown to Rome. 

2 A letter has been preserved, sent in 521 by Hormisdas to Epiphanius, bishop of 
Constantinople, to which is added a note in the pope's own handwriting. "We have 
received the golden, jewelled chalice, the silver paten and a second silver chalice and 
two curtains sent by your charity to serve in the ministry of the basilica of blessed 
Peter." Jaffe, Regesta, p. 108, 858. 

3 List of rich vessels and other objects. 

* Lists of gifts from Theodoric and Hormisdas to the great basilicas. List of 


5 His epitaph, written by his son Silverius, who himself became pope in 536, is 
given by Duchesne ; op. cit., p. 274, n. 25. It ascribes to Hormisdas the credit not only 
for the healing of the schisms at home and abroad but also for the restoration of the 
Catholic church in Africa. 



and 15 days, from the consul- 
ship of Maximus (a.d. 523) to 
the consulship of Olybrius, the 
younger (a.d. 526). 

He was summoned by King 
Theodoric to Ravenna and the 
king commissioned him and sent 
him on an embassy to Constan- 
tinople to Justin, the emperor. 
For Justin was a devout man and 
in his great love for the Christian 
religion he tried to root out 

With great fervor he dedi- 
cated the churches of the Arians 
to the catholic faith. ^ 

Therefore Theodoric, the 
Arian, was angered and threat- 
ened to put all Italy to the 

Then John, the venerable 
pope, set forth and journeyed 
with weeping and lamentation 
and certain devout men, ex- 

and 16 days. He was bishop 
from the consulship of Maximus 
(a.d. 523) to the consulship of 
Olybrius (a.d. 526), in the days 
of Theodoric and of Justin 
Augustus, the Christian. He was 
summoned by King Theodoric 
to Ravenna and the same king 
commissioned him and sent him 
on an embassy to Constanti- 
nople to Justin, the orthodox 
emperor. For at that time Jus- 
tin, the emperor, a devout man, 
in his ardent love for the Chris- 
tian religion was trying to root 
out the heretics. 

With great fervor for Chris- 
tianity he adopted a plan to 
consecrate the churches of the 
Arians as catholic. Hence the 
heretic king, Theodoric, was 
incensed, when he heard of it, 
and threatened to destroy all 
Italy with the sword. 

Then John, the pope, ill with 
infirmity, journeyed weeping, 
and certain senators and ex- 
consuls with him, namely The- 

1 The Anonymous Chronicle of Valois, compiled apparently after the death of 
Theodoric, tells practically the same story; viz. that Theodoric believed that "Justin 
was afraid of him" and therefore he charged John to tell him "among other things not 
to readmit to the catholic religion the heretics who had been reconciled." "And when 
he came (to Constantinople) the emperor Justin met him as if he had been the blessed 
Peter ; and when he had delivered his message the emperor promised to do everything, 
except that he could never restore to the Arians those who had been reconciled and had 
adopted the catholic faith." Ch. 88-93. Quoted by Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, 
p. 277, n. 2. The proscription of the Arians by Justin took place in 523. Theodoric 
may have felt that this action was a menace to the safety of the Gothic tribes in Italy 
and jeopardised the policy of general peace and toleration which he himself had labored 
to enforce. On the Anon. Valesianus, see Mommsen, Chronica Minora, I. 



consuls and patricians, went with 
him, Theodorus, Importunus, 
Agapitus and another Agapitus. 

And they took this for the 
message of their embassy, that 
the churches of the heretics in the 
dominions of Greece should be 
returned to them and that if it 
were not done 

Justin Angus- King Theodoric 
would put all Italy to the sword. 

When all the aforesaid en- 
voys had arrived at Constanti- 
nople with John, the pope, the 
people came to meet them at the 
1 2th milestone in honor of the 
apostles, for from the days of the 
blessed Silvester, the pope, in the 
time of Constantine, they had 
desired to be accounted worthy 
to receive in Greece the vicar of 
Saint Peter, 

and Justin Augustus adored the 
blessed John, 

odorus, Importunus, Agapitus, 
the exconsuls,^ and another 
Agapitus, a patrician. 

And they took this for their 
message as ambassadors, that 
the churches should be returned 
to the heretics in the dominions 
of the East and that otherwise 
Theodoric would put all Italy 
to the sword. 

When they had journeyed 
with John, the pope, the whole 
city with candles and crosses 
came to meet them at the 15 th 
milestone in honor of the blessed 
apostles, Peter and Paul, and 
the ancients among the Greeks 
bore witness, saying that in the 
time of Constantine Greece had 
been accounted worthy to re- 
ceive the blessed Silvester, 
bishop of the apostolic see, and 
again in the time of Justin 
Augustus it had received the 
vicar of blessed Peter, the apos- 
tle, with glory. 2 Then Justin 
Augustus gave honor to God 
and bowed himself to the ground 

1 Flavius Theodorus was consul in 505, Importunus in 509, Agapitus in 517. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 277, n. 3. 

2 As a matter of fact John I was the first pope to visit Constantinople. The refer- 
ence to Sylvester in the first column of our text, taken from the Felician Epitome, 
probably means that since the time of Sylvester, i.e. since the official recognition of 
Christianity and the establishment of the state church at Constantinople, no such honor 
had been paid to the Eastern capital. The author of the later version in the second 
column has misunderstood the passage and interpreted it as a statement that Sylvester 
himself had once been in Greece. The contemporary chronicle of Marcellinus says, 



Then the 
granted the 

and he was crowned by his 

the emperor 
granted all the 
request of the 
pope and the 
noble senators, 
exconsuls and 
patricians of 
the city of 
Rome, Flavius 
who excelled 
the other digni- 

of the illus- 
trious Theodo- 
rus and of the 
other nobles 

and adored John, the most 
blessed pope. At that time 
blessed John, the pope, and the 
aforesaid senators with many 
tears besought of Justin Augus- 
tus that their embassy might be 
favored in his sight. And Pope 
John and the senators, devout 
men, obtained all their requests 
and Italy was dehvered from 
King Theodoric, the heretic.^ 
Moreover Justin, the emperor, 
was filled with joy because he 
had been accounted worthy to 
behold the vicar of blessed Peter, 
the apostle, during his hfetime 
within his realm and Justin Au- 
gustus was crowned gloriously 
by the pope's hands. 

At that time, when the afore- 
said envoys, that is Pope John 
and the senators, 

Theodorus, the exconsul, 

"He (John) was received with extraordinary honor ; he sat upon a throne on the right 
side of the church and he celebrated the day of our Lord's resurrection with Roman 
prayers in a loud voice." Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 51, p. 94i- 

1 The Lib. Pont, does not mention the demand of Theodoric already cited, that 
Justin should compel the converted Arians to return to their old faith. Supra, p. 132, 
n. I. Justin did apparently consent to restore the confiscated Arian churches. 



taries in splen- 
dor and distinc- 
tion, the illus- 
trious Importu- 
nus, also an 
exconsul, the il- 
lustrious Aga- 
pitus, an excon- 
sul, and the 
other Agapitus, 
the patrician, 
and to save the 
blood of the 
Romans he re- 
turned the 
churches to the 

But while 
this was taking 
place in the 
dominion of 
Greece, in ac- 
cordance with 
the will of King 
Theodoric, the 
heretic, many 
priests and 

Christians were 
being put to the 
sword. Even 
while King 

Theodoric kept 
the blessed 
bishop John and 
the other illus- 
trious men so- 
journing in 

who came with 
the blessed 
pope John, 

and to save the 
blood of the 
Romans he re- 
turned the 
churches of the 
heretics to 

But while 
King Theodoric 
kept the bishop 
John and the 
other illustri- 
ous men so- 
journing at 

Importunus, the exconsul, 

Agapitus, the exconsul, 

and Agapitus, the patrician, who 
died at Thessalonica, 

were kept sojourning at Constan- 
tinople by King Theodoric, the 




he slew two 
senators, ex- 
consuls and pa- 
tricians, Boe- 
thius and Sym- 
machus, with 
the sword and 
that their 
bodies should 
be concealed.' 

Then when 
everything had 
been accom- 
plished in due 
order and Aga- 
pitus, the patri- 
cian, was dead 
in Greece, the 
aforesaid illus- 
trious men with 
John, the bish- 
op, returned 

were received by King Theodoric 
craftily ; in great hatred he re- 
ceived John, the bishop, and the 
illustrious and devout senators 
and in the heaviness of his wrath 
he would have punished them 
with the sword but he feared the 

he slew two 
senators, Boe- 
thius and Sym- 
machus, the 
patrician, with 
the sword and 
that their 
bodies should 
be concealed. 

Then Pope 
John and the 
aforesaid illus- 
trious men 
their return 

he put to death two illustrious 
senators and exconsuls, Sym- 
machus and Boethius, slaying 
them with the sword. 

At that time the venerable 
pope John and the senators re- 
turned with glory, having ob- 
tained all their requests of Justin 

but King Theodoric, the heretic, 
received them, that is Pope 
John and the senators, with 
craft and hatred and would 
even have slain them with the 
sword but he feared the indig- 
nation of Justin Augustus. 

1 The Anonymous Chronicle of Valois says that Boethius was strangled by Theod- 
oric before the pope was sent to Constantinople but that Symmachus was put to death 
in John's absence. "For the king feared that his grief for his father-in-law (Boethius) 
might cause him to plot against the government and he accused him of crime and 
ordered him to be executed." Ch. 92. A third chronicle of the time, Chronkon Cus- 
pinianeum, arranges these events still differently. "In that year Theodoric slew 
Symmachus and Boethius and died himself eighteen days later." Quoted by Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 277, n. 7. 



indignation of Justin Augustus, 
the orthodox, and did it not. 

However, he confined them 
all cruelly in prison, so that the 
blessed pope John, worn by ill- 
ness, gave up the ghost and died 
in prison.^ He died at Ravenna 
gloriously. May 18, in the prison 
of King Theodoric. On the 98th 
day after Bishop John had 
died in prison, by the will of 
omnipotent God, King Theodo- 
ric suddenly 

was struck 
down by divine 
power and 

was struck by a 
and perished. 

However, he confined them 
all miserably in prison, so that 
the blessed John, bishop and 
pope of the chief of sees, sick- 
ened in prison and gave up the 
ghost and died. He died a 
martyr at Ravenna in prison. 
May 18.^ Then it came to pass, 
by the will of omnipotent God, 
that on the 98th day after blessed 
John died in prison King The- 
odoric, the heretic, suddenly 

This pope John rebuilt the cemetery of the blessed martyrs, 
Nereus and Achilleus, on the Via Ardeatina ; * he likewise restored 
the cemetery of Saints Felix and Adauctus ; ^ he likewise restored 
the cemetery of Priscilla.^ 

1 The events here related all followed each other in rapid succession. At the end 
of 525 or the opening of 526 Pope John was in Rome, conferring with Dionysius the 
Less, over the celebration of the approaching Easter. Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 67, p. 517. 
When that Easter came, April 19, he was in Constantinople. Supra, p. 133, n. 2. On 
May 18 he died in confinement under Theodoric's displeasure. The king was in a 
frame of mind that brooked no delays. 

2 The author of the text in the second column calls John a martyr. The Anonymous 
Chronicle of Valois tells how a man possessed by a devil was healed as the pope's 
bier passed him in the street and how the senators and the populace thereupon tore 
off fragments of the dead man's vestments to preserve as relics. Ch. 93. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 277, n. 9. 

^ Theodoric died on August 30, one hundred and four days after the pope. 

* John restored the basilica of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo in the cemetery of Domitilla. 
It is possible still to distinguish between the remains of the original basilica, built about 
390 under Pope Siricius, and the renovations of John. 

^ This cemetery was also known as the cemetery of Commodilla. It stood a little 
to the east of the basilica of St. Paul, near the Via Ostiensis. Frothingham thinks that 
John decorated with frescos the subterranean chapel recently unearthed there. Monu- 
ments, pp. 73, 74, 279-281. 

^ He probably restored the basilica of St. Sylvester, which stood over the catacomb 
of Priscilla. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 277, n. 13. 


:|c * * * * * * *1 

His body was brought from Ravenna and buried in the basilica 
of the blessed Peter, May 27, in the consulship of Olybrius (a.d. 


And the bishopric was empty 58 days. 

LVI. Felix IV (526-530) 

Felix, by nationality a Samnite, son of Castorius, occupied the 
see 4 years, 2 months and 13 days. He was bishop in the time of 
King Theodoric and Justin Augustus, from the consulship of Ma- 
burtius (a.d. 527) to the consulship of Lampadius and Horestes 
(a.d. 530), from July 12 to October 12.^ 

He built the basihca of Saints Cosma and Damian in the city 
of Rome, in the region which is called the Via Sacra, near the 
temple of the city of Rome.^ 

1 Short list of gifts to Roman basilicas, contributed principally by Emperor Justin. 
List of ordinations. 

2 An epitaph copied from the ancient atrium of St. Peter, which perhaps marked 
the tomb of John I, is given by Duchesne. Op. ciL, p. 278, n. 15. The seventh line 


"Priest of the Lord, thou art fallen a victim for Christ." 

3 The dates recorded here for the pontificate of Felix IV are not quite exact. The- 
odoric died seven weeks after his installation and Justin a year later. Accordingly the 
greater part of his term of office was passed under Athalaric and Justinian. Boniface 
II was ordained September 22, 530, so that Felix must have died during the same month. 
A calculation based upon the length of the pontificate as given in the first sentence of 
our biography brings one to September 21 as the date of Felix' death. The Latin text 
for this passage is " a die IV id. Jul. usque in IV id. Octub." It is possible that a copyist 
may have repeated the "IV id." by mistake in the second phrase and that it originally 
read "in X kal. Octub." Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 279, nn. i, 2. Mommsen 
suggests that the inaccuracy in date, which is noticeable from time to time through this 
part of the narrative and is explained by Duchesne as copyist's error or later inter- 
polation, is due to the fact that the author is not a contemporary of the events he is 
describing but is introducing dates at his own discretion into a narrative of an earlier 
age. Mommsen, Lib. Pont., p. xvii. 

* This is, of course, the church now known as Santi Cosma e Damiano. It was 
originally a pagan hall, dedicated by Vespasian, restored by Severus and Caracalla 
and employed as a storehouse for census reports and survey records. On its eastern 
wall was set up the marble plan of Rome, of which fragments are now preserved in 
the Capitoline Museum. Felix constructed an apse on this eastern end and adorned 
it with a mosaic of Christ among the clouds, attended by saints and apostles, and in- 
scribed the dedicatory verses which may be still read beneath it. The hall itself stood 



In his time the basihca of the holy martyr Saturninus on the 
Via Salaria was burned with fire and he rebuilt it from its foun- 

He was ordained by order of 
King Theodoric - and he died in 
the time of King Athalacic, Octo- 
ber 12. 

He was ordained peaceably 
and he lived to the time of 

* 3 

He also was buried in the basilica of blessed Peter, the apostle, 
October 15.^ 

And the bishopric was empty 3 days. 

a little back from the Via Sacra, from which it was separated by a small, circular temple, 
erected by Maxentius in honor of his son Romulus. Either Felix or some later builder 
threw the new church and the round temple together, so that the latter served as a 
vestibule for the former and gave it an entrance upon the Via Sacra. There is consider- 
able uncertainty as to the edifice referred to here as the "temple of the city of Rome." 
The Lib. Pont, relates of Pope Honorius that he covered the whole basilica of St. Peter 
with bronze tiles taken by permission of the emperor Heraclius from the " temple which 
is called the temple of Rome." Duchesne opines that the building thus denoted was 
the civil basilica of Constantine, which stood near Felix' church. Frothingham and 
others think it rather the temple of Venus and Rome. The cult of the Cilician martyrs, 
Cosma and Damian, was especially popular at Rome at this period. Symmachus had 
already built an oratory in their honor. Supra, p. 122. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 279, 
n. 3. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 73-74, 89-90. Gregorovius, History of Rome, tr. 
Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 339-346. 

1 A cemeterial basilica over the catacomb of Thrason on the Via Salaria. It has 
long since disappeared. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 280, n. 4. 

^ A letter has survived, written by Athalaric to the Roman senate, in which he 
expresses his pleasure that they had so obediently elected the pope chosen for them 
by his predecessor, Theodoric. He assures them that Theodoric, " although of a differ- 
ent faith," had taken pains to select a pontiff who would be satisfactory to any upright 
man. Cassiodorus, Varim, VIII, 15 ; tr. Hodgkin, Letters of Cassiodorus, pp. 360-361. 

' List of ordinations. 

* Duchesne {op. cit., p. 280, n. 7) gives his epitaph. The last four lines may be 
translated as follows : 

" For his humble piety he was preferred to many of the proud 
And by singleness of heart he won a lofty place ; 
He was bountiful to the poor, he comforted the wretched, 
He increased the wealth of the apostolic see." 


LVII. Boniface II (530-532) 

Boniface, by nationality a Roman, son of Sigibuld,^ occupied 
the see 2 years and 26 days. He was bishop in the time of King 
Athalaric, the heretic, and of Justin ^ Augustus, 

the cathohc. 

He was ordained by one faction at the same time as Dioscorus.^ 
Dioscorus was ordained in the basiHca of Constantine and Boniface 
in the basiHca of Juhus ; ^ and there was strife among the clergy 
and in the senate for 28 days.^ At that time Dioscorus died, Octo- 

1 The first Germanic name to appear in the lists of the popes or their forbears. A 
consul of the year 437 was called Sigisbuld. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 282, n. 2. 

^ This name should, of course, be Justinian. 

3 For the previous career of Dioscorus see supra, p. 118, n. i and p. 127 etseq. The 
history of this brief schism in the church has been recently illuminated by the discovery 
in the chapter library at Novara of three documents now published by Duchesne. Op. 
cit., p. 282, nn. 4 and 8. The first is a mandate addressed by Felix IV on his deathbed 
to the bishops and clergy, the senate and people of Rome, announcing the selection 
and ordination by himself of Boniface, the archdeacon, to succeed him in the govern- 
ment of the church and bidding them all accept Boniface and avoid dissension on pain 
of suspension from the communion of the Lord's body. FelLx, we may recollect, had 
been an appointee of Theodoric and apparently wished to ensure the succession of a 
pope who would continue to favor the Goths. Dioscorus, on the other hand, had more 
connection with the Greek party in church and state. The second document is a general 
order from the Roman senate to the clergy to refrain during the lifetime of a pope from 
planning for the ordination of his successor. The edict is impartial in its phraseology 
and applies equally to the partisans of Boniface and those of Dioscorus. The third 
document is entitled, "The Paper Which the 60 Priests Presented to Pope Boniface 
after the Death of Dioscorus." It is a formula of repudiation and anathematization 
of Dioscorus, " who in opposition to the decree of your (Boniface's) predecessor. Pope 
FelLx, of blessed memory, aspired to the bishopric of the Roman church." It contains 
a confession of error in having espoused the cause of Dioscorus and a promise never 
again to be guilty of such wickedness. It closes with a declaration that it is signed by 
the offender's own hand. The copies of this instrument deposited by Boniface in the 
Roman church were burned five or six years later by Pope Agapitus. Infra, p. 144. 
It is interesting to observe that the emperor Justinian in 551 used the condemnation 
of Dioscorus as a precedent to prove that it was lawful to anathematize the dead. 

* The basilica of Constantine is, of course, San Giovanni in Laterano. Duchesne 
thinks that the basilica of Julius is not Santa Maria in Trastevere, often known under 
this title, but a hall in the Lateran palace which also bore the designation. Op. cit., 
p. 282, n. 5. 

^ The number of the priests who adhered to Dioscorus was at least sixty, as may be 
inferred from the title of the formula of repudiation described above. Supra, 


ber 14. Then Boniface, full of ambition and guile, commanded 
with much bitterness the clergy to return to him under bond of an 
anathema in their own handwriting and the anathema in their 
own hand he deposited in the archives of the church, as if for con- 
demn? tion of Dioscorus ; and he gathered the clergy together. 
Nevertheless no one subscribed to his episcopate,^ for the great 
majority had been with Dioscorus.^ 

He gave the priests, deacons, subdeacons and notaries plates of 
metal which were bequeathed to him ^ and succored the clergy with 
lavish alms when in danger of famine. He held a synod in the 
basilica of blessed Peter, the apostle,^ and made a decree that he 
should ordain his own successor. This decree he ratified by the 
signatures of the priests and an oath before the confession of the 
apostle Peter and he appointed the deacon Vigihus. Then a second 
synod of all the priests was held out of reverence for the holy see, 
because the decree had been contrary to the canons and because 
Boniface repented of his sin in that he wished to appoint his suc- 
cessor ; and Pope Boniface confessed that he had been guilty of 
sacrilege and 

had confirmed | 

the decree with his own signature in behalf of the deacon Vigilius 
and before the confession of blessed Peter, the apostle, in the 
presence of all the priests and clergy and senators he burned the 
decree with fire. 

At that time a communication came from the bishops of Africa 

n. 3. At the synod of 499, which all the Roman priests would naturally have attended, 
there were only sixty-seven present. It therefore seems clear that Dioscorus was the 
favorite candidate with the great majority of the clergy, who disliked the domination 
of the Goths. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 282, n. 6. 

' This probably means that Boniface did not require the followers of Dioscorus to 
sign the decree attesting his election, but satisfied himself with the form of recanta- 
tion already described. 

^ In 553 one of the members of the fifth ecumenical council at Constantinople alluded 
to Dioscorus as pope and cleclared that the officials in Constantinople had been in com- 
munion with him up to the time of his death. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 283, n. 10. 

^ A letter of Gregory the Great mentions a silver plate or platter (scutella), which 
had been bequeathed to a monastery. Gregory I, Epistolce II, 32 ; Migne, Pal. Lat., 
vol. 77, col. 569. 

* The Lib. Pont, is the only source for the following events. 


regarding their government, saying also that the bishop of Carthage 
would in every act take counsel of the apostolic see.^ 

He (Boniface) also was buried in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle,^ 

October i8, in the I October 17, in the 
consulship of Lampa- consulship of Lampa- 

dius and Orestes.^ 


on the 17 th day of 
the month of October, 
in the consulship of 

And the bishopric was empty 2 months and 15 days^ 

in the eleventh indiction. | 

LVIII. John II (533-535) 
the younger, | 

who was also called 

Mercurius, | Martyrius, 

by nationality a Roman, son of Projectus, from the Caelian Hill," 

1 The orthodox church of Africa had been given its freedom by the Vandal king Hil- 
deric in 523. Supra, p. 130 and n. 3. For some years thereafter it was divided over 
certain problems of reorganisation, two in particular, viz. : the character and extent 
of the primacy of the see of Carthage and the relation of that see to the bishopric of 
Rome. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. xli, 283, n. 13. 

2 His epitaph is given by Duchesne. Its tone is different from that of our text. 

. . . "The gentle shepherd reunited his divided flock, 

Folding again his distressed sheep as the enemy fell ; 
With meek heart he abated his anger against the suppliants 
And overcame all wiles by the simplicity of his spirit." 

It also records his aid to the city in a year of famine. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 283, n. 14. 

^ Lampadius and Orestes were consuls in 530, the year of the death of Felix IV. 
Supra, p. 13S. Through an error their names have been inserted in the text again here. 

* The unusual length of this interregnum was apparently due to a series of scandal- 
ous party intrigues and efforts to purchase the see by simony. A letter of King 
Athalaric to John II speaks of these deplorable machinations and says that during their 
course some of the sacred vessels were offered for public sale. The Roman senate 
about this time issued a decree to the effect that any one who attempted to buy the 
papacy by any kind of bribery should be considered guilty of sacrilege. Cassiodorus, 
VaricE, IX, 15; tr. Hodgkin, Letters of Cassiodorus, pp. 398-400. Duchesne, op. cit., 
pp. 283-284, n. 16. 

^ John was a priest of San Clemente on the Caelian Hill before his elevation to the 
pontificate. A votive inscription still existing in the church of San Pietro in VincoH 


occupied the see 2 years, 4 months and 6 days. He was bishop in 
the time of King Athalaric ^ and Justinian Augustus, 

the cathohc. | 

In his time the emperor, a devout man and ardent lover of the 
Christian rehgion, sent a statement of his faith, written in his own 
hand, to the apostohc see by the bishops Epatius and Demetrius.^ 

-!• "I* *T? 'I* V •!* *(• ^ 3 

He also was buried in the basilica of blessed Peter, the apostle,* 
May 27, in the second consulship of Lampadius.^ 
And the bishopric was empty 6 days. 

LIX. Agapitus (535-536) 

Agapitus, by nationality a Roman, son of the priest Gordianus, 
one of the clerg}^ of the church of Saints John and Paul,^ occupied 
the see 

gives the name of the reigning pope as John, surnamed Mercurius, "promoted from the 
parish church of San Clemente to the pontifical glory." The present choir screen and 
ambones at San Clemente, with their decorations in low relief, two columns and a 
fragment of the epistyle of the ciborium are relics of the gifts of John to the basilica. 
His monogram may be seen on the screen. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 285, n. i ; 
Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 74-75. 

1 Athalaric died in 534 and was succeeded by Theodatus or Theodahad, of whom 
v/e shall hear more under the ensuing pontificates. 

2 The disturbing problem of the dual nature of Christ had been raised again in the 
East by a monkish party who inclined to the Nestorian view. Supra, p. 97, n. 5. 
Justinian sent H>'patius and Demetrius, bishops of Ephesus and Philippi respectively, 
with a letter to the pope setting forth his own position and asking to have it approved. 
That letter, with the answer of the pope endorsing it, was published in the first chapter 
of the first book of the Code of Justinian, issued in November 534. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 285, n. 3. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 113, 884, 8S5. For an account of Justinian's relations 
with the church and the papacy see Cambridge Med. Hist., vol. II, pp. 43-49. 

^ List of gifts from Justinian. List of ordinations. 

* His epitaph is given by Duchesne, op. cit., p. 286, n. 4. 

* These dates are both wrong. John II died May 8. May 27 was the date of the 
burial of John I. The second consulship of Lampadius fell in 532. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 286, n. 5. 

^ Gordianus signed his name to the proceedings of the Roman synod of 499 as 
priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo and lost his life in 501 during the disturbances of the 
pontificate of Symmachus. His house stood near the church which he served and his 
son Agapitus founded there a library of Greek and Latin theology. A dedicatory 
inscription was painted upon the wall above the bookcases and the frescoed portraits 


II months and i8 days. [ 8 months and lo days. 

He, at the opening of his episcopate, assembled everyone into 
a church and burned with fire the book of the anathema which 
Boniface in anger and guile had extorted from the priests and 
bishops contrary to the canons and in condemnation of Dioscorus, 
and he absolved the whole church from the guilt of perfidy.^ 

He was sent by Theodatus, king of the Goths, on an embassy 
to the lord emperor Justinian,^ because at that time the lord em- 
peror Justinian was wroth against King Theodatus for killing 
Queen Amalasuenta, daughter of King Theodoric, who had been 
put under the protection of Justinian and who had made Theodatus 
king.=^ Therefore Agapitus journeyed to Constantinople ; on April 
22^ Agapitus, the bishop, entered Constantinople and was received 
with glory.*^ And first he began a discussion with the most pious 

of the church fathers. The inscription was copied in after years and may be found in 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 288, n. i. Gregory I converted the house into a monas- 

1 Supra, p. 140, n. 3 ; p. 141 . This episode is recorded only in the Lib. Pont. 

2 Procopius does not mention the embassy of the pope to Constantinople but other 
chroniclers of the period refer to it. In the Varia^ of Cassiodorus we hear that the pope, 
whose revenues were scanty at this hard time, was forced to pawn sacred vessels in 
order to raise the money for the expedition. Letters of Cassiodorus, tr. Hodgkin, pp. 


3 Amalasuntha was the mother of Athalaric and Theodahad was her consort. He 

resented his wife's activity and energy and shut her up on an island in the lake of 
Bolsena. When she appealed to Justinian he had her strangled. 

* Another instance of the transference of dates, which occurs so frequently in this 
part of the Lib. Pont. This date is given again below as the date of the death of Agapi- 
tus. The latter passage is where it rightfully belongs. 

5 "At this time Theodatus, king of the Goths, wrote to the pope and to the senate 
at Rome and threatened to put not only the senators but also their wives and sons and 
daughters to the sword, unless they should prevail with the emperor to recall from 
Italy the army which he was sending against him ; and the pope for this reason under- 
took the embassy and journeyed to Constantinople. First of all he received honorably 
the men whom the emperor sent to him but refused to see Anthemius and would not 
accept his salutation ; then he appeared before the prince and pled the cause of the 
embassy which he had undertaken. But on account of the great expense to the treas- 
ury ifisc) the emperor would not withdraw from Italy the army which he was sending 
and he refused to heed the supplications of the pope." Liberatus, Breviarium, 21; 
Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 68, col. 1039. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 114. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 288, n. 6. Liberatus describes the deposition of Anthemius by Agapitus on the 
ground not only of unorthodoxy but also of irregular transference from another see. 
Our own author passes over Agapitus' failure to deter the emperor from sending 


prince and emperor, Lord Justinian Augustus, concerning the faith. 
And the blessed bishop Agapitus set forth most steadfastly the 
apostolic doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, that is 
of two natures in one Christ. Then a contention arose but the Lord 
aided Agapitus and he found the bishop of Constantinople, Anthe- 
mius by name, to be a heretic. 

And when the contention arose between Augustus and Agapitus, 

the pope. 

the emperor Justinian said to him : ''Either you agree with us or I 
dispatch you into exile." Then the most blessed pope Agapitus 
answered joyfully and said to the emperor : "I indeed am a sinner, 
yet I have desired to come unto the most Christian emperor, Jus- 
tinian ; now, however, I have found Diocletian ; nevertheless, I 
fear not your threats." And Agapitus, the venerable pope, said 
to him a second time: "Notwithstanding, that you may know 
you are unworthy of the Christian faith, bid your bishop confess the 
two natures in Christ." Then, by order of Augustus, the bishop of 
Constantinople, Anthemius by name, was summoned and the argu- 
ment was begun but in response to the questions of the blessed pope 
Agapitus he refused to confess the catholic dogma of two natures 
in one Lord Jesus Christ. And the holy pope Agapitus convicted 
him of error and was glorified by all the Christians. Then the 
most pious emperor Justinian rejoiced and prostrated himself 
before the apostoHc see and adored the most blessed pope Agapitus. 
And straightway he expelled Anthemius from the communion and 
sent him into exile. Then the most pious emperor Justinian asked 
of the most blessed pope Agapitus that he would consecrate in place 
of Anthemius a catholic bishop, by name Menas.^ 

Furthermore Pope Agapitus obtained all that he had been sent 
to request.^ But after some days he fell ill and died at Constanti- 

Belisarius to Italy but makes much of his achievement in upholding orthodoxy and 
ecclesiastical discipline in the Eastern capital. 

1 The Vatican manuscript 4961 contains a copy of a "Book of Menas, priest and 
head of the hospice, who was created bishop of Constantinople, March 13, after the 
second consulship of the distinguished Paulinus, the younger (536)." Duchesne, op. 
cit., p. 289, n. 8. 

2 As we have already remarked, Agapitus failed entirely to secure what Theodahad 
and the Romans expected of him. 


nople, April 22.^ And his body was carried in a leaden coffin 
to Rome, I 

to the basihca of blessed Peter, the apostle, where it was buried, 
September 20.^ 

* * * * * * * *s 

And the bishopric was empty i month and 28 days. 

LX. SiLVERIUS (536-537) 

Silverius, by nationality a Campanian, son of Hormisdas, bishop 
of Rome,^ occupied the see i year, 5 months and 11 days. He was 
appointed bishop by the tyrant Theodatus without discussion of 
the appointment. For Theodatus had been corrupted by bribes 
and he terrified the clergy so that they beHeved that whoever did 
not support the ordination of Silverius would suffer by the sword. 
Accordingly the priests did not accept him in the ancient way and 
confirm his appointment before his ordination; but after he had 
been ordained by force of fear, then for the sake of the unity of the 
church and of the faith, when the ordination was ended, the priests 
accepted Silverius.^ 

But after 2 months the tyrant Theodatus perished by the will 
of God and King Witiges reigned.^ Then Witiges journeyed to 

1 Before Agapitus' death he appointed Pelagius, his deacon, as legate to represent 
the Roman church at the imperial court. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 289, n. 10. This 
Pelagius figures again later. Injra, p. 159 ct scq. 

2 His epitaph has been lost. 
^ List of ordinations. 

* Supra, p. 131, n. 5. 

5 These details as to the manner of Silverius' elevation are found only in the Lib. 
Pont. Liberatus in his Brcvarium (ch. 22) tells us merely that the city of Rome chose 
Silverius, a subdeacon and son of the former pope Hormisdas, to be ordained in Agapi- 
tus' stead. It is curious, however, that the choice should have fallen upon one so 
low in rank as a subdeacon if there were no pressure from outside in favor of Silverius, 
and it is not unlikely that Theodahad, who determined the fate of Pope Agapitus, 
insisted now on placing his own candidate in the papal chair, as Theodoric had done in 
the case of FelLx IV after the death of John I. Supra, p. 1 39. The tone of our narrative, 
together with the imputation of simony, indicates some resentment on the part of the 
Roman clergy against the Gothic interference. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 293, n. 2. 

« Silverius was ordained June 8, 536. The revolt of the Gothic armies, which set 
Vitiges upon the throne, took place probably early in August. 


Ravenna and by violence took the daughter of Queen Amalasuenta 
to be his wife. But thereupon the lord emperor, Justinian Augustus, 
being angry because Theodatus had murdered the queen who had 
been put under his protection, sent Vilisarius,^ the patrician, with 
an arm.y to free all Italy from the bondage of the Goths. And the 
aforesaid patrician came into Sicily and abode 

some time. 

Then he heard that the Goths had chosen them a king contrary 
to the will of Lord Justinian Augustus and he marched into Cam- 
pania toward the city of Naples and began to besiege the city with 
his army, because the citizens of Naples refused to open to him.^ 
At that time the patrician fought against the city and entered it ; 
and in his fury he slew both the Goths and all the inhabitants of 
Naples and sacked it and spared not even the churches from the 
sack. He killed husbands with the sword in the presence of their 
wives and he put to death the captive sons and wives of the nobles ; 
he spared none, neither priests nor servants of God nor consecrated 


Then there was a terrible war, for Witiges marched against the 
patrician Vihsarius and against the city of Rome. For the patri- 
cian Vilisarius entered the city of Rome, December 10, and he sur- 
rounded the city with guards and fortifications and walls and 
repaired the trenches and strengthened it. The very night when 
the patrician Vilisarius entered, the Goths who were in the city or 
outside the walls fled and left all the gates open and escaped to 
Ravenna.^ Then King Witiges collected a vast army of the Goths 

1 A form, of course, of the well-known name Belisarius. It is also spelt Velisarius, 
Bisilarius, etc., in the manuscripts. For Justinian's determination to avenge the death 
of Amalasuntha see supra, p. 144. On Belisarius' relations with the Romans see 
Gregorovius, History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 363-450. 

2 The order of events here is uncertain. Procopius and the continuator of the 
Chronicle of MarceUiniis describe the siege of Naples before the accession of Vitiges. 
Jordanes does the same in the Romana but in the Gctica he keeps the order of the Lib. 
Pont. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 293, n. 5. 

^ Procopius says that the Massagetae, who fought in the army of Belisarius, were 
chiefly guilty of the loot and sacrilege, that they cut down even the inhabitants who 
fled to the churches for shelter and that Belisarius went up and down the city restrain- 
ing them. De Bella Gothico, I, 11 ; ed. Haury, vol. II, pp. 58-62. 

^ Procopius says that Belisarius entered Rome by the gate called Asinaria on the 


and marched back against Rome, February 21, and pitched his 
camp by the Molbian bridge ^ and began to besiege the city of 
Rome. And the patrician ViHsarius, who defended the Roman 
name, shut himself up within the city 

and kept the city. | 

In those days the city was besieged so that no man might go 
out or come in. And all the buildings, private and imperial and 
ecclesiastic, were consumed by fire and men died by the sword ; 
some perished by the sword, some by famine and some by pesti- 
lence.^ Likewise the churches and the bodies of the holy martyrs 
were destroyed by the Goths.^ Within the city there was a great 
famine, so that water would have been sold for a price if the springs 
had not furnished deliverance.^ And the battles were fierce about 
the city. In those days the patrician Vihsarius fought against King 
Witiges and the host of the Goths and defended the Romans and 
with his army saved the city and the Roman name. Then the city 
and the harbor of Rome were besieged one year by the Goths.'' 
But the patrician Vilisarius fought and conquered the Goths and 
at last, after one year, the Goths fled to Ravenna. 

same day that the Goths marched out by the Flaminian Gate. De Bella Gothico, I, 
14; p. 77. 

1 The Mulvian bridge. 

2 Rome had suffered in the fifth century from barbarian invasions but without losing 
much of the outer semblance of her grandeur. With this terrible siege begins the real 
destruction of her orderliness and beauty, the transformation of the splendid capital 
of the ancient world into the scarred, crumbling, poverty-stricken, medieval city of the 
popes. Lanciani, Destruction of Ancient Rome, pp. 70-71, 79-87. Frothingham, 
Monuments, pp. 76-85. Gregorovius, History of Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. II, passim. 

' Duchesne prints selections from inscriptions taken from martyrs' tombs and 
cemeteries along the Via Salaria, where the Gothic assaults were heaviest, recording 
the restoration of sacred monuments wrecked or damaged by the enemy. In one or 
two cases remains have been found both of the original epitaphs shattered by the Gothic 
soldiers and of the sixth century reproductions of the originals erected to fill the empty 
places. Op. cit., pp. 293-294, n. 11. 

* Procopius tells us that the aqueducts, which ordinarily gave the city its abundant 
supply of water, were cut by the invaders but that the springs within the walls together 
with the stream of the Tiber furnished enough for the reduced population. De Bello 
Gothico, I, 19, ed. Haury, vol. II, pp. 96-100. Lanciani, Destruction of Ancient Rome, 
pp. 79-82. 

^ According to Procopius the siege lasted one year and nine days and ended just 
before the vernal equinox of 538. De Bello Gothico, II, 10, ed. Haury, vol. II, p. 192. 


At that time there was a heavy famine throughout the whole 
world, as Datius, bishop of the city of Milan, has related fully in 
his report, so that in Liguria women ate their own children for 
hunger and want ; some of them, he has said, were of the family 
of his own church.^ 

At that time the patrician Vilisarius went to Naples and set it in 
order and afterwards came to Rome.^ And he was received gra- 
ciously by Lord Silverius ; ^ and the patrician Vilisarius removed 
to the Pincian palace. May 11,^ in the 15th indiction. At that 
time Vigilius, the deacon, was delegate to Constantinople. And 

1 Procopius speaks of the desolating famine that fell upon Italy in 538 and of 
instances of cannibalism due to starvation. De Bella Gothico, II, 20, ed. Haury, vol. II, 
pp. 236-239. He also says that Datius, bishop of Milan, and some of the leading citi- 
zens of the city came to Rome during that year to ask of Belisarius a small force of 
soldiers, with whose aid they proposed to reestablish the imperial government in the 
province of Liguria and to drive out the Goths. During his stay at Rome Datius may 
have reported on the famine in his diocese. Belisarius furnished the desired support, 
but in spite of it the Goths took and sacked Milan the following year. Datius es- 
caped and fled to Constantinople, where he died in 552. The Varice of Cassiodorus 
contain a letter, written by himself as pretorian prefect to Datius between 534 and 539, 
regarding the opening of granaries for the relief of famine sufferers. Procopius, ibid., 
II, 7; pp. 180-185. Letters of Cassiodorus, tr. Hodgkin, pp. 521-522. 

2 With this sentence, in the judgment of Duchesne, begins a later account by a new 
writer of the deposition of Pope Silverius, which took place in 537, before the Gothic 
siege was over. Up to this point, in his opinion, the narrative has been that of a con- 
temporary, as were the lives of the popes inmiediately preceding. It is vivid and, on 
the whole, accurate, mentioning often details which are given by no other history 
and showing intense party spirit in the references to the conflicts between the Gothic 
and imperial parties. It is hostile to Silverius as the creature of Theodahad and is 
interested less in strictly ecclesiastical questions than in the military and pohtical 
situation. This narrative now ceases abruptly and the history of the pope is continued 
by another and more sympathetic biographer to whom the recital of his cruel mis- 
fortunes seems more important than that of the fall of cities. The first sentence in this 
second narrative merely recounts again the events already more fully described, the 
capture of Naples and the coming of Belisarius to Rome. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. 
xxxix-xl, 294, n. 15. Mommsen, of course, is convinced that our seventh century 
author has simply been making use of two different sources and pieces the two to- 
gether here. Lib. Pont., p. xvii. 

3 Procopius tells us that Silverius persuaded the Romans to open their gates to 
Belisarius. De Bella Gothico, I, 14; pp. 75-76. 

* Another instance of an interpolated date. Belisarius fixed his headquarters at 
the Pincian palace immediately on his entry into Rome toward the close of 536. Possi- 
bly the name of the month here has been changed by a clerical error from March to 
May and the date is really that of Silverius' deposition. Vigilius was ordained March 
29, 537. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 294, n. 17. 


the empress was vexed for the patriarch Anthemius, because he had 
been deposed by the most holy pope Agapitus, who had found him 
to be a heretic and had appointed Menas, the servant of God, in 
his stead. ^ So Augustus took counsel with Vigilius, the deacon, 
and sent a letter to Rome to Pope Silverius with the request : 
"Be not slow to come to us or else fail not to restore Anthemius 
to his place." ^ And when the blessed Silverius read the letter he 
groaned and said : "Now I know that this affair has put an end to 
my life." But the most blessed Silverius had trust in God and in 
blessed Peter, the apostle, and he wrote to the empress: "Lady 
Augusta, I will never do this thing, to recall a heretic condemned 
in his iniquity." 

Then Augusta was wroth and she sent instructions to Vilisarius, 
the patrician, by Vigilius, the deacon, 

as follows : | 

"Find some occasion to accuse Pope Silverius and depose him 
from the bishopric or else send him surely and speedily to us. 
See, you have with you Vigilius, the archdeacon and legate, our 
well beloved, who has promised us to restore the patriarch Anthe- 
mius." And Vilisarius, the patrician, received the instructions 
and said: "I forsooth will perform these instructions; but as for 
him who brings about the overthrow of Pope Silverius he shall 

' The intrigue of Theodora, by means of which Silverius was deposed, is described 
by Liberatus even more minutely than it is here. Liberatus says : "Augusta summoned 
Vigilius, deacon of Agapitus, and asked him secretly to promise her that if he were 
made pope he would annul the synod of Chalcedon, where the dual nature of Christ 
had been maintained, and would write to Theodosius, Anthemius and Severus and in 
his letters approve their faith, and she offered to give him an order to Belisarius to make 
him pope and to bestow on him seven hundred thousand sesterces. So Vigilius gladly 
gave his promise, desiring the bishopric and the gold, and after making his pledge he 
went to Rome ; but when he arrived there he found that Silverius had been ordained 
pope. Also he found Belisarius at Ravenna (this should be Naples), besieging and 
capturing the city, and he delivered to him the command of Augusta and promised 
to give him two hundred thousand sesterces of gold if he would remove Silverius and 
ordain him (Vigilius) instead." Breviariiim, 22; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 68, col. 1039. 
Quoted by Duchesne, op. cit., p. 294, n. 18. 

^ Liberatus says nothing of any correspondence between Byzantium and Silverius. 
He rather gives the impression that Theodora ignored Silverius and his ordination 
altogether but adds that Belisarius and his wife tried to persuade Silverius to do what 
the empress demanded, implying that she cared little who was pope so long as Anthe- 
mius was reinstated. Breviariiim, 22; Migne, ibid., col. 1040. 


render an accotint of his deeds to our Lord Jesus Christ." ^ And 
certain false witnesses, encouraged by these instructions, came 
forward and said: "We have found Pope Silverius sending letters 
to the king of the Goths, saying : ' Come to the gate which is 
called the Asinaria, near the Lateran, and I will deliver to you the 
city and Vilisarius, the patrician.'" And Vilisarius, the patrician, 
heard this and did not believe it ; for he knew that it was spoken out 
of malice. Nevertheless, since many persisted in that same accu- 
sation, he was afraid. 

Then he bade Pope Silverius come to him in the Pincian palace 
and he had all the clergy wait at the first and second portals.^ 
And Silverius went alone with Vigilius into the mausoleum and 
Antonina, the patrician, was lying upon a couch and Vilisarius, the 
patrician, was sitting at her feet. And when Antonina, 

the patrician, ] 

saw him she said to him: "Tell us, Lord Pope Silverius, what we 
have done to you and to the Romans that you should wish to be- 
tray us into the hands of the Goths." While she was yet speaking 
John, the subdeacon of the first district, took the pallium from his 
neck and carried it into an inner chamber and stripped him of his 
vestments and put on him a monk's robe and led him into hiding. 
Then Xystus, the subdeacon of the sixth district, when he saw him 
as a monk, went outside and proclaimed to the clergy that the lord 
pope had been deposed and had become a monk. And when 
they heard it they all fled. But Vigihus, the archdeacon, took 

1 The Lib. Pont, represents Belisarius as feeling more compunction than Liberatus 
ascribes to him. The latter says: "Belisarius returned to Rome and summoned 
Silverius to the palace and accused him calumniously on the ground that he had written 
to the Goths that they might enter Rome. And it was reported that one Marcus, a 
clerk, and one Julianus, a pretorian, had composed fraudulent letters under the name of 
Silverius and addressed them to the king of the Goths, by means of which Silverius was 
convicted of the intention to betray the city of Rome." Brcviarium, 22; Migne, ibid. 
Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 116. 

^ Liberatus says that Silverius first took refuge in the basilica of Santa Sabina 
but that Photius, son of Antonina, prevailed upon him to come to the palace, pledging 
his safety by an oath. Silverius' companions urged him "not to believe the oaths of 
the Greeks" but he went and returned safely that day. Again Belisarius commanded 
him to appear and he prayed and committed his cause to the Lord and went and was 
never seen again by his friends. The scene inside the palace is described only in the 
Lib. Pont. Breviarium, 22; Isilignt, ibid. 


Silverius as if in his own charge, and sent him into exile to Pontias 
and fed him with the bread of tribulation and the water of bitter- 
ness. And he fell ill and died a confessor.^ And he was buried 
in that place, June 20, and a multitude of those who were diseased 
came to his sepulchre and were healed.^ 

*j5 ?|* *|» *|* ?|* *^ *^ ^^ ^ 

And the bishopric was empty .^ 

^ The Lib. Pont, omits here some interesting details of Silverius' latter days. He 
was sent first into exile not to Ponza, where he was in the power of Vigilius, but to 
Patara, a city of Lycia. The bishop of Patara took up his cause and went himself to 
the emperor, declaring that it was wrong to expel the bishop of the mighty Roman see, 
" that there were many kings in the world but not one who was unique like the pope, 
who ruled the church of all the world and had been driven from his see." The emperor 
was moved by this argument and ordered a fresh trial and a reexamination of the forged 
letters. Silverius was brought back to Italy, but before the trial could be held Vigilius, 
in dread of losing his position, sent word to Belisarius : "Deliver Silverius to me; 
otherwise I cannot perform what you expect of me." So Silverius was turned over to 
the guards of Vigilius, who transported him to the island of "Palmaria," where he 
died of starvation. Thus Liberatus. Breviarium, 22; Migne, ibid. Procopius in his 
Secret History says that Antonina, wife of Belisarius, the pliant tool of Theodora, was 
instrumental in bringing about Silverius' death before he could be tried a second time. 
Ch. I; ed. Dindorf, pp. 13-16. The guilt seems to rest partly upon her and partly 
upon Vigilius. The islands of Pontiae, now called Ponza, are in the Tuscan Sea. One 
of the group is named Palmaria. Duchesne, o/>. c//., p. 295, nn. 21, 22. 

^ The remains of Silverius were never moved from Palmaria. No other notice of 
veneration paid to him at Rome is known to exist earlier than the martyrology of 
Peter de Natalibus, which was drawn up in 1371. For the reference cf. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 29s, n. 23. 

^ List of ordinations. 

* There was perhaps some doubt in the mind of our author as to the time when 
Silverius' pontificate ended, whether with his deposition or with his death. Therefore 
he does not give, as is usually the case, the exact duration of the vacancy in the papal 

It may be urged by some historians that, if the translation of the Liber Pontifi- 
calis is to be broken at all, the break should occur here. See first note on the 
following page. Since, however, the question of the sources for the following 
pontificates is at best obscure, it seems better for practical purposes to carry the text 
through to the pontificate of Gregory I, as that important date in papal history is sa 
close at hand. [Ed.] 


LXI. ViGiLius (537-555) 

Vigilius,^ by nationality a Roman, son of John, the consul,^ 
occupied the see 17 years, 6 months and 26 days. At that time 
Vilisarius, the patrician, made war on Witiges, king of the Goths. 
And the king fled by night and John, the master of the soldiery, 
who was surnamed the Bloody, pursued after him and he seized 
him and brought him to Vilisarius and to Vigilius at Rome.^ Then 
they pledged him their oaths in the basihca of Julius that they 
would conduct him safely to the emperor Justinian.'* And when 
they had brought him to Constantinople the emperor rejoiced and 
created him patrician and count and sent him into the borders of 

* Duchesne believes that with the biography of Silverius we come to the end of the 
first recension of the Lib. Pont., and that with Vigihus we begin the first continuation. 
At a casual glance the account of Vigilius seems as likely to be contemporary work as 
that of Silverius. On examination, however, it is found to be full of inaccuracies and 
mistakes. For example, the two occupations of Rome by Totila in 546 and 549 are 
treated as one. The defeat of the Vandals by Belisarius in 533-534 is confused with 
the suppression of the revolt of Guntarith in 547. Other errors are pointed out in the 
notes. The lives of Pelagius I and John III contain further slips. In the latter the two 
Prankish expeditions of 552 and 562 are combined into one. Duchesne argues that the 
author of the four biographies after Silverius did not write earlier than the time of 
Pelagius II. Lib. Pont., vol. I, pp. ccxxxi-ccxxxii. Mommsen rejoins that the style 
of all the sixth century lives is too barbarous to have been employed by a church 
official of the age of Theodoric and that the inaccuracies in the first portion, while not 
so numerous as those in the second, are frequent enough to make it improbable that 
they were the work of a contemporary. Lib. Pont., p. xvii. 

2 The father of Vigilius may have been an honorary or codicillary consul. There 
are no consuls for the West listed in the Fasti by the name of John during this period. 
Vigilius' brother, Reparatus, was among the Roman hostages sent to Ravenna by 
Vitiges in 536 and barely escaped death when in the following year Vitiges dispatched 
orders to Ravenna to have the hostages massacred. Procopius, Liberatus and Mar- 
cellinus all state that Vigilius was ordained pope through the influence of Belisarius. 
Duchesne, op. cit., p. 299, n. i. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 117. 

3 The text is faulty in the part it assigns to John, "magister militum." He had 
been fighting in the North and was pushing down at this time toward Ravenna. 
His advance forced Vitiges to withdraw his army from the attack on Rome and 
fall back to protect Ravenna. He surrendered there in 539 to Belisarius, not to 

* There is no other record of this interview. It is possible that Belisarius brought 
Vitiges to Rome and took ship at Porto for the East. The basilica of Julia is un- 
doubtedly the great hall of the Lateran palace, used for state receptions and other 
ceremonies. Supra, p. 140 and n. 4. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 300, n. 3. 


Persia, where he died.^ The emperor also asked Vilisarius how he 
himself fared with the Romans and how he had set Vigihus in the 
place of Silverius. Then the emperor and Augusta thanked 
Vilisarius and conferred authority upon him and sent him back 
into Africa 

against Gundarit, king of the 
Vandals, that he might do in 
Africa what he had done in 

And Vihsarius went into Africa under pretext of peace and 
slew Guintarit, king of the Vandals, and brought Africa into sub- 
mission to the empire. Then Vilisarius, the patrician, came to 
Rome and offered to blessed Peter, the apostle, by the hand of 
Pope Vigihus out of the spoils of the Vandals a golden cross, set 
with jewels, weighing loo lbs., 

inscribed with | on which he inscribed 

his victories,^ and 2 large, gilded, 
silver | 

candelabra, which stand to this day before the body of blessed Peter, 
the apostle. He gave likewise many other gifts and alms to the 
poor. For Vihsarius, the patrician, built a hospice on the Via 
Lata * and on the Via Flaminia, near the town of Hortas, he estab- 
lished a monastery of Saint Juvenal, which he endowed with lands 
and many gifts.^ 

1 Procopius does not say that Vitiges was sent to Persia but that Belisarius was 
commissioned to carry on the Persian war. De Bello Gothico, III, i ; ed. Haury, vol. 
II, p. 297. 

2 Our author here confuses Belisarius' expedition against the Vandals in 533 with 
the suppression of the revolt of Guntarith by Artabanes in 547. Belisarius at this time 
was in Italy, defending Rome against the assault of Totila. Guntarith was assassi- 
nated by order of Artabanes. 

3 Belisarius' cross is mentioned again in the life of Stephen V. It was saved from 
the sack of the papal residence in 885. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 300, n. 6. 

* The church of Santa Maria di Trevi, near the fountain of Trevi, was known in the 
Middle Ages as Santa Maria in Xenodochio, because it adjoined the hospice of Belisa- 
rius. A tablet, bearing an early inscription referring to the hospice, may still be seen 
embedded in the outer wall of the church. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 300, n. 7. 

5 St. Juvenal was the first bishop of Narni, a town eight miles from Hortse or Orta. 
There was a church of St. Juvenal in Orta as late as the sixteenth century. Duchesne, 
op. cit., p. 300, n. 8. 


Then Theodora Augusta wrote to Pope Vigilius : "Come, ful- 
fill for us what you promised of your 


freewill concerning our father Anthemius and restore him to his 

office." ' 

But Vigilius replied: "Far be this from me, Lady Augusta. 
I spoke beforetime wrongly and foohshly; now I do assuredly 
refuse to restore a man who is a heretic and under the anathema. 
Although unworthy, I am the vicar of blessed Peter, the apostle, 
as were my predecessors, the most holy Agapitus and Silverius, 
who condemned him." 

Then the Romans brought 

an accusation I their accusations 

against Vigihus, because he had advised the deposition of the blessed 
pope Silverius : "We accuse him to your Hohness for he has done 
ill to your servants, the Romans, and to their people. We declare 
him to be a murderer, for he abandoned himself to rage and struck 
his notary a blow which felled him straightway to his feet where he 
died. Also he gave his niece, Vigiha, to the consul Asterius, son 
of a widow woman; then, making an occasion, he had Asterius 

1 Our author has probably misrepresented the demand made upon Vigilius by the 
Monophysite party at the imperial court. It is true that through their influence 
Vigilius had secured his office and that they undoubtedly expected of him some return 
in the way of endorsement of their peculiar views of the nature of Christ and of dis- 
paragement, if not denunciation, of the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo. 
Supra, p. 98, n. I ; p. 106, n. 2. That they required the reinstatement of Anthemius 
seems unlikely. His condemnation by Agapitus had been ratified by a synod held at 
Constantinople in 536 and by an edict of Justinian. Menas, who held the bishopric, 
was in high favor with the emperor. Supra, p. 145- Jaffe gives a letter purporting to 
have been written by Vigilius to Anthemius and other bishops of the heterodox party, 
professing his secret agreement with them but asserting the necessity of keeping the 
fact hidden, "so that I may more readily perform and achieve the things which I 
have undertaken." A declaration of faith, however, drawn up at about the same 
time, perhaps to satisfy suspicion at Rome, and letters to Justinian and Menas all 
explicitly and solemnly protest the pope's orthodoxy and loyalty to the acts of his 
predecessors and the Council of Chalcedon. Regesta, p. 118, 908, 909, 910, 911. 
Unless Vigilius be regarded as an absolutely unscrupulous doubledealer, the letter to 
Anthemius must be classed as a forgery. It might easily have been concocted by some 
of his opponents who desired to avenge his treatment of Silverius. Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 300, n. 9. 


seized by night and beaten until he died." ^ And when Augusta 
heard this she sent Anthemius, the scribe, with orders and great 
authority to Rome, saying: "If you find him in the basiHca of 
Saint Peter, let him go. But if you find VigiHus in the Lateran or 
in the palace or in any other church, set him immediately upon a 
ship and bring him to us. Else, by Him who Kveth forever, I will 
have you flayed." ^ And Anthemius, the scribe, came to Rome and 
found Vigihus in the church of Saint CeciHa, November 22; for 
it was her birthday ; ^ and Anthemius took him while he was dis- 
tributing gifts to the people and brought him down to the Tiber 
and set him on a ship. The people and the multitude followed him, 
calHng out that they would have a prayer from him. And when 
he had spoken a prayer, all the people 

said: | answered: 

"Amen"; and the ship began to move. The Romans saw that 
the ship in which Vigilius was seated had begun to move and 
then the people commenced to throw stones after him and sticks 
and dirty vessels and to cry out: "Your hunger go with you! 
Your pestilence go with you ! ^ You have done evil to the Romans ; 
may you find evil where you go !" Yet some who loved him fol- 
lowed him from the church. 

And when he reached Sicily and the city of Catania, he was 
allowed to hold an ordination of priests and deacons in the month 
of December. Of these he sent back to Rome Amphatus, the 
priest and his vicar, and Valentinus, bishop of Saints Rufina and 
Secunda, to guard the Lateran and preside over the clergy.^ Then 

1 There is no other account of the accusation i^ainst Vigilius and we know nothing 
of the incidents herein mentioned. 

2 The circumstances of Vigilius' departure from Rome are described nowhere else. 
Other historians say simply that he was summoned by the emperor and forcibly com- 
pelled to go. Only one adds that all Rome drove him out by public acclamation. 
Facundus, Defensio Trium Capitum, IV, 3 ; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 67, col. 624. 

3 November 22 is the day of the festival of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. The 
gifts, "munera," here noted Duchesne understands to be the eucharistic wafers. Op. 
cit., p. 300, nn. 12 and 13. 

* Vigilius left Rome in 544 or 545. At that time Totila had already begun to 
reduce the city by cutting off supplies. In 543 a severe pestilence had swept over the 
disordered country. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 300, n. 14. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 119. 

5 The word here translated vicar is " vicedominus" or " vidame," later a feudal title. 
Ducange, Glossarium, Vicedominus. The basilica of Sante Rufina e Seconda stood 


he bade them all farewell and arrived at Constantinople on the 
vigils of our Lord Jesus Christ. The emperor came to meet him 
and they kissed each other and began to weep. And the people 
sang psalm.s before him to the church of Saint Sophia: "Lo he 
Cometh, the Lord, the Lord," etc. Then for two years there were 
dissensions over Anthemius, the patriarch, how Vigilius had 
promised and had pledged with his hand to restore him to his place.^ 
But Vigilius would not yield to them but preferred to die virtu- 
ously than to live. And Pope Vigilius said: "I perceive that it 
was not the devout princes, Justinian and Theodora, who sum- 
moned me to them ; rather I know to-day that I have met Dio- 
cletian and Eleutheria.^ Do with me as you will ; I am receiving 

formerly on the Via Cornelia, not far from the Vatican. The foundation was laid by 
Pope Julius I and the building was completed, if tradition be correct, by Pope Damasus. 
Procopius gives us further information regarding the journey of Vigilius' envoys back 
to Rome. They embarked with a convoy of vessels filled with food for the relief of the 
suffering population of the city but at the entrance to the Tiber the fleet was captured 
by the Goths and the bishop Valentinus was brought before Totila for examination. 
The king for some reason suspected that the bishop was answering his questions falsely 
and cut off both his hands. De Bello Gothico, III, 15 ; ed. Haury, vol. II, pp. 360-361. 
In 554, when Vigilius left Constantinople, the archdeacon Pelagius seems to have been 
performing the functions of the head of the church. Infra, p. 159. 

'As has been said before {supra, p. 155, n. i), the struggle was not to induce 
Vigilius to restore Anthemius but to effect a compromise with the Monophysite party 
in general. Justinian had already yielded to them and to the empress so far as to issue 
an edict denouncing three Nestorian writers, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret and 
Ibas, who the Monophysites claimed had received the tacit approval of the Council of 
Chalcedon. Justinian took the step in the hope of thereby prevailing upon the party 
to accept the decrees of the council and of restoring harmony to the church. The edict 
was accepted, though reluctantly, by most of the orthodox Eastern bishops but met 
with determined resistance in the West, where any concession to Eutychianism was 
regarded as direct heresy. Vigilius was commanded in Constantinople to give the edict 
his approval. He resisted stubbornly for a while, knowing that such an act would 
ruin his position at Rome. But at length, in 548, he issued a document, commonly 
called the Judicatum, anathematizing the three Nestorians but stoutly maintaining his 
adherence to the Council of Chalcedon. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 121, 922. He was not 
allowed to return home but was detained in the East until the meeting of the council 
convened at his suggestion by Justinian in 533. Jaffe, Regesta, p. 121. The council 
supported the emperor and found Vigilius' position unsatisfactory. His banishment 
apparently was the result of his appearance before it. Jaffe, ibid., p. 123, 935. The 
controversy over the condemnation of the three Nestorian writers is known as that 
of the Three Chapters. It brought about a new schism between East and West, which 
lasted seventy years. 

2 The words are copied from the biography of Pope Agapitus. Supra, p. 145. It is 
not known that Diocletian had a wife Eleutheria. 


the reward of my deeds." Thereupon one struck him in the face, 
saying : "Murderer, do you not know to whom you speak? do you 
not know that you slew Pope Silverius and killed the son of a widow 
woman with kicks and blows?" Then he fled to the basilica of 
Saint Euphemia and laid hold of 

a column I a horn 

of the altar.^ But he was dragged away from it and cast outside 
the church and a rope was put about his neck and they haled him 
through all the city until evening and then thrust him into prison 
and gave him a Httle bread and water. And the Roman clergy 
who were with him were sent into exile to work in different 

At that time the Goths chose for their king Badua, who was 
called Totila.^ He descended upon Rome and besieged it; and 
there was a famine in the city of Rome so that the people ate their 
own children. And one day he made an entrance into Rome by 
the gate of St. Paul, in the 13th indiction.^ All night long he had 
the trumpet blown until every inhabitant fled or concealed himself 
in the churches, for fear that the Romans would perish by the 
sword. But the king dwelt with the Romans as a father with his 
sons. Then some of the senators, Citheus, Albinus and Basilius, 
patricians and exconsuls, went to Constantinople and appeared 
before the emperor in their distress and desolation.^ And the 

1 This account of the maltreatment of Vigilius is partly legendary. The actual 
facts are given in some detail in an encyclical letter written by himself in 552 relating 
his sufferings. Mansi, Amplissima CollecHo, vol. IX, p. 50. Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 69, 
col. 53. It is true that Vigilius was dragged from an altar but the incident occurred in 
the church of St. Peter in Hormisda in Constantinople. Later he fled for refuge to the 
church of St. Euphemia in Chalcedon. 

2 Totila had become king before the departure of Vigilius. He is called Badua 
and Baduila in other chronicles. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 301, n. 24. 

' Our author here confounds the two sieges of Rome by Totila in 546 and in 549. 
The date given, the 13th indiction (549-550), and the entering by the gate of San Paolo 
belong to the second siege but the severe famine and the flight of the patricians were 
features of the first. On these events see Gregorovius, History of Roftie, tr. Hamilton, 
vol. I, pp. 451-476. 

* Procopius says that on the night that Totila entered Rome in 546 the patricians 
Decius, Basilius and others escaped from the city in the train of Bessas, the commander 
of the Byzantine garrison. Cethegus, the leader of the senate, had retired to Centum- 
cellae earlier under suspicion of favoring the Gothic party. De Bella Gothico, III, 13 
and 20 ; ed. Haury, pp. 349, 384. 


emperor comforted them and enriched them as befitted Roman 

Thereupon the emperor Justinian sent Narses, the eunuch and 
his chamberlain, into Italy. And he gave battle to the Goths and 

God awarded him the victory 
and the king was slain 

won the victory and Totila, 
king of the Goths, was killed 

and a multitude of the Goths were killed also.^ Then 
the assembled clergy I the Romans 

asked Narses that with his consent they might request the prince 
that, if Pope Vigilius still lived and the priests and deacons and 
clergy who had been sent into exile with Vigilius, they might 
return home. And when the emperor received the report of 
Narses and of the whole Roman clergy, he rejoiced and all his 
senate because God had given rest to the Romans.^ And imme- 
diately the emperor sent instructions to the divers places whither 
the exiles had been transported, to Gypsum and Proconisius,^ and 
he summoned them before him and said : "Are you willing to ac- 
cept Vigilius, who was your pope? I thank you. If not, you have 
here your archdeacon Pelagius and my hand will be with you." 
They all replied: "May God direct your Holiness! Restore to 
us now Vigilius and when God wills that he shall pass from this 
world then let Pelagius, our archdeacon, be given to us according 
to your command." Then he sent them all away. 

1 Totila was defeated and killed in the battle of Tegina or Tadini in Tuscany in 552 
and Rome was reoccupied finally by the imperial forces. The following year, 553, 
Teias, successor of Totila, was slain in the battle of Vesuvius and the long contest of 
Ostrogoths and Byzantines for the possession of Italy was ended. 

2 The story of the restoration of Vigilius savors somewhat of the legendary. It is 
possible that the Roman church appealed to Justinian on behalf of the banished pope 
and his attendant clergy and that they were assisted by Narses. It is certain, however, 
that Vigilius' final release was the result of his ultimate, unqualified condemnation of 
the three Nestorians and of all their supporters and his recantation of anything he had 
previously said in their defence. Jaffe, Regcsta, pp. 123-124, 936, 937. Pelagius, 
who had also been exiled or imprisoned by the emperor, refused to concur in the con- 
demnation and persisted in his resistance for some time after Vigilius had yielded. 
It is, therefore, extremely unlikely that Justinian should have suggested him at this 
time for Vigilius' place. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 301, n. 28. 

^ Proconnesus, an island in the Propontis, now called Marmora, famous for its 


They came with Vigihus to Sicily, to the city of Syracuse. And 
he suffered from the malady of the stone and died.^ And his body 
was carried to Rome and buried in the church of Saint Marcellus 
on the Via Salaria. 

* * * * * * * *2 

And the bishopric was empty 3 months and 5 days.^ 

LXII. Pelagius I (556-561) 

Pelagius/ by nationality a Roman, son of John, the vicar,^ 
occupied the see 4 years, 10 months and 18 days. And there was 
no bishop to ordain him but two bishops were found, John of 
Perusia and Bonus of Ferentinum, and Andrew, priest of Ostia, 
and they ordained him pontiff.^ At that time there was no one 

' A contemporary record says of Vigilius' death : "He died in Syracuse, the second 
day of the week, at night, the seventh day before the Ides of June in the third indiction 
(June 7, 555)." Duchesne, op. ciL, p. 302, n. 33. 

2 List of ordinations. 

' The vacancy was longer, for Pelagius was not ordained until April 16, 556. 

* We know more of Pelagius' career previous to his accession than we do of that of 
most popes at this early period. Under Silverius he had been sent with Vigilius to 
Constantinople as apocrisarius and while there had intrigued in favor of the appoint- 
ment of Vigilius and the deposition of Silverius. Supra, p. 146, n. i ; pp. 149-150. On 
Vigilius' ordination he had been sent by Justinian to Antioch on ecclesiastical business 
and had been active in other church affairs. Returning to Rome he had distributed 
his wealth among the poor of the city and after the departure of Vigilius had played 
the part of the leading citizen, negotiating with Totila in 546 and obtaining from him a 
promise to refrain from murder and outrage when he captured Rome. Procopius says 
that he was at this time the most illustrious man in Italy. Later he returned to 
Constantinople and was punished along with Vigilius for refusing to anathematize the 
Three Chapters in obedience to the decision of the ecumenical council just held. Supra, 
pp. 157, n. I and 159, n. 2. He did not continue obstinate, however, for a year later 
after the death of Vigilius he accepted the decrees of the council and was designated 
by the emperor as VigUius' successor. De Bcllo Gothico, III, 16-21 ; ed. Haury, vol. II, 
pp. 362-393- 

*The word is "vicarianus." Pelagius came apparently of aristocratic family. 
His father may have held the office of vicar in one of the two Italian dioceses. Duchesne, 
Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 303, n. i. 

^ The regular conduct of ordinations in the suburban diocese must necessarily have 
been much interfered with during the ten years absence of Vigilius and the disorder of 
the Gothic wars. That conditions were little better in the metropolitan diocese of 
Milan is proved by a letter written by the clergy of that city in 551. Datius, their 
bishop, had then been absent in the East twelve or thirteen years and they complain 
that most of the bishops whom he had ordained were dead and that a vast number of 


among the clergy who could be promoted. The monasteries and 
the multitude of wise and noble devout withdrew from communion 
with Pelagius, saying that he had had a part in the death of Pope 
Vigilius and therefore was punished with such troubles.^ Then 
Narses and Pope Pelagius took counsel and when the litany had 
been said at Saint Pancratius they proceeded with hymns and 
spiritual songs to Saint Peter, the apostle.^ And Pelagius, holding 
the Gospels and the cross of the Lord above his head, mounted the 
pulpit and thus he satisfied all the people 

and the populace | 

that he had done no harm to Vigilius. Likewise Pope Pelagius 
continued and said : ''I beg of you to grant my request, that who- 
ever deserves promotion in the holy church 

and is worthy of it, | 

people were dying without baptism. Stipra, p. 149 and n. i. Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 
69, col. 118. A few episcopal ordinations had, nevertheless, taken place without the 
pope, in the suburban district, as is proved by the fact that Pelagius was ordained by a 
bishop from Perugia. Herculanus, bishop of that city, had been massacred by the 
soldiers of Totila, when they sacked Perugia in 549. John must have been ordained 
since that date. It is probable that the scarcity of bishops was not the only reason 
why Pelagius had but three at his ordination. Our text speaks of the widespread 
hostility to him in all ranks of the church. 

1 Duchesne is of the opinion that our author is mistaken in assigning this reason for 
the prejudice against Pelagius. It is certainly difficult to see how he could have been 
blamed in any way for Vigilius' death, when he was left by Vigilius in confinement in 
the East and had been for so long a fellow sufferer with him. Op. cit., p. 304, n. 3. 

2 The ceremonies at San Pancrazio and the Vatican are described here in more 
detail than anywhere else. That, however, the charges of which Pelagius cleared him- 
self were heresy and betrayal of the faith of the fathers rather than complicity in Vigilius' 
death is established by the encyclical which he issued at the same time. It is addressed 
to all the people of God and sets forth his position, "in order to remove suspicion." 
He declares solemnly that he accepts the statutes of the "four councils" {i.e. the four 
first councils, excluding the one called by Justinian) and the apostolic canons and that 
"he holds in condemnation all those whom they (his predecessors) condemned and 
reverences as orthodox all whom they approved, in particular the venerable bishops 
Theodoret and Ibas." Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 125, 938. Mansi, Amplissima CollecHo, 
vol. IX, p. 717. By this purgation Pelagius seems to have won toleration from his 
own diocese but the other Western bishops for the most part still refused their fellow- 
ship. Pelagius vainly endeavored to prevail upon Narses and upon Childebert, king 
of the Franks, to interfere and end the schism by force. We have a letter by him 
addressed to Valerianus, a patrician, arguing that the decrees of the synod of Chalcedon 
and the writings of the blessed Augustine prove that schismatics should be suppressed 
by secular authority. Jaffe, ibid., pp. 126, 946; 133, 1019; 135, 1038. 


from a doorkeeper even to a bishop, should accept advancement, 
though not for gold nor any promises ; you all know that that is 
simony. But whoever is taught in the works of God and leads a 
good life we bid him, not by bribes but by honest conversation, to 
rise unto the first rank." 

At that time Pelagius appointed Valentinus, who feared God, 
as his notary and had all the gold and silver vessels and the vest- 
ments restored in all the churches.^ Then he began to build the 
basilica of the apostles PhiUp and James ; ^ but when the building 
was begun he died and was buried in the basilica of blessed Peter, 
the apostle,^ 

March 2. 

'I^ 7|« 9|C ?|% 7|S Sfi 3|% #|« A 

And the bishopric was empty 2 months and 25 days. 

^ Pelagius' correspondence is full of allusions to the impoverished state of the Roman 
church and of directions for collecting the rents and other revenues which had long 
been unpaid. In one instance he orders that a slave, the son of a slave woman be- 
longing to the church, who was attempting to escape from servitude by calling himself 
a curial, should be returned to the ecclesiastical estates. He writes to the bishop of 
Aries, commending to his protection various Romans who had fled from their homes 
for fear of the enemy and asking that the garments bought with the dues paid by the 
local church should be sent by ship to Rome, " because there is such poverty and destitu- 
tion in this city that we cannot look without grief and anguish of heart upon men whom 
we know to be meritorious and born to honorable position." Jaffe, Regesta, pp. 126- 
134, 943, 947, 949, 950, 951, 953, 956, 963, 1022, 1023. There is no mention of church 
furniture in the letters now extant but Pelagius may probably have tried to replace 
what had been lost and destroyed. 

2 The basilica of the Santi Apostoli. The first church on the site was erected by 
Julius I. Supra, p. 73, n. 4. A new one was now begun by Pelagius with the aid of 
Narses and finished by John III. It contained two metrical inscriptions set up by 
John, who claimed to have contributed the larger share of the edifice. The apsidal 
inscription began as follows : 

"Here the priest before me has left his slight traces; 
Pope John has completed the work which he began. 
Standing the more erect in a season of cramping distress, 
The bishop scorns to be depressed by a failing world." 

Duchesne, op. cit., p. 306, n. 2. The basilica was rebuilt in the fifteenth and again in 
the eighteenth century and shows now no remains of sixth century work. See Gre- 
gorovius. History oj Rome, tr. Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 489-495. 

3 Duchesne prints Pelagius' epitaph, taken like others from the portico of the old 
basilica. Op. cit., p. 304, n. 7. It is unusually long and makes much of his virtues 
and his title to blessedness in heaven. We give an extract : 


LXIII. John III (561-574) 

John, by nationality a Roman, son of the illustrious Anastasius, 
occupied the see 12 years, 11 months and 26 days. He loved and 
restored the cemeteries of the holy martyrs.^ He ordered that 
consecrated bread and flagons of wine should be suppHed and lights 
should be lit in those cemeteries on every Lord's day by the priests 
of the Lateran. He finished the church of the apostles Philip and 
James and dedicated it.^ 

At that time the Heruli revolted and chose for their king Sin- 
duald and oppressed all Italy. And Narses went out against him 
and slew the king and subdued the whole tribe of the Heruh.^ 

"As guardian of the apostolic faith he preserved the venerable dogmas 

Which were set forth by our illustrious fathers. 
By eloquence he recovered those who had fallen into the errors of schism, 

That with hearts reconciled they might hold the true faith. 
He consecrated many ministers of the divine law, 

Staining not his immaculate hands with gold. 
He redeemed captives, he was quick to succor the afBicted, 

He never refused to share his goods with the poor." 

* List of ordinations. 

1 During the eighteen years of the Gothic wars the suburban cemeteries had suffered 
from both pillage and neglect. They had ceased to be used as places of burial, new 
cemeteries having been opened within the city walls. The dwindling population no 
longer crowded the enclosed area, the old sanitary regulations were not enforced and 
graves outside the walls were exposed to desecration. The catacombs were, therefore 
hardly visited, except for the purpose of honoring the saints whose bodies were there 
interred. They were coming to be regarded not as ordinary burying grounds but as 
"the cemeteries of the martyrs," as they are called here, i.e. as shrines or holy places, 
objects of pilgrimage. Parish priests found it increasingly difficult to provide for 
services in those ancient sites, to which their common duties no longer brought them. 
John attempted to prevent their complete abandonment by laying upon the Lateran 
church, the centre of ecclesiastical administration, the responsibility of supplying 
materials for the mass. Some of the earlier Byzantine frescoes in the catacombs may 
have been executed by workmen in his employ. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 306, 
n. I. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 86-87. 

^ Supra, p. 162 and n. 2. 

' The events here noted belong to the obscure period between the Gothic wars and 
the Lombard invasion. Sinduald or Sindbal had been one of the chiefs enrolled by 
Narses to serve as heads of the barbarian auxiliaries. Two letters are extant addressed 
to Sindula, "magister militum," by Pelagius I. From them one may gather that the 
military leader acted as judge to settle civil cases involving questions of liability for 
damage and rights of inheritance and that he applied to the pope for instruction in a 


Then came Ammingus, leader of the Franks, and Buccillinus; 
they also in like manner wasted Italy. But with the help of the 
Lord they too were destroyed by Narses.^ And all Italy was 

Then the Romans, inspired by malice, sent an accusation to 
Justinian and Sophia, saying: "It were better for the Romans to 
serve the Goths than the Greeks, for Narses, the eunuch, governs 
us and reduces us to slavery ; and our most devout prince is igno- 
rant of it. Either free us from his hand or we and the city of Rome 
will serve the Gentiles."^ When Narses heard this he said: "If 
I have done evil to the Romans may evil fall on me ! " Then Narses 
departed from Rome and went to Campania and wrote to the tribe 
of the Lombards that they might come and possess Italy .^ But 

knotty suit. Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, pp. 130 and 135, 990, 1031. Paul the Deacon, who 
probably had access to sources now lost, gives the best account of Sinduald's revolt. 
" Nevertheless Narses waged war against Sinduald, king of the Brenti, who came of the 
stock of the Heruli, whom Odoacer brought with him when he descended into Italy. 
He at first was faithful to Narses and received many benefits from him, but at last he 
rebelled arrogantly and endeavored to make himself king and Narses conquered him 
and took him prisoner and hung him from a high beam." History of the Lombards, 
tr. Foulke, pp. 55-56. 

1 The history of the struggle against the Frankish inroads at this period is far from 
clear. Bucelinus or Buccelin was apparently one of two brothers who led a host of 
Frankish marauders across the Alps in 553 and were repulsed and overwhelmed the 
following year by the imperial army. It is an error to couple his name here with that 
of Amingus. The latter seems to have figured in the Gothic raids of 561-563, which 
resulted in the temporary occupation of the province of Aquileia and of the cities of 
Verona and Brescia. Narses recaptured Verona and drove the Franks once more 
out of Italy. There is no satisfactory account of these years in any of the surviving 
sources. Duchesne, op. cit., pp. 306-307, n. 4; Gregorovius, History of Rome, tr. 
Hamilton, vol. I, pp. 476-485. 

2 "Narses, the patrician, . . . gave Italy back to the Roman empire, rebuilt the 
ruined cities and by expelling the Goths restored the people throughout Italy to their 
ancient happiness." Prosperi Aqidt. Continuator Havniensis, in Mon. Ger. Hist., 
Auctorum Antiquiss., Chronica Minora, vol. I, p. 337. Quoted by Duchesne, op. cit., 
p. 307, n. 5. 

3 No other record gives us more than the bare statement that Narses was recalled 
from Italy in 568 by the emperor Justin II. The name of Justinian in our text is, of 
course, an error. It is impossible to verify or to disprove our narrative at this point. 

^ All historians from the seventh century onward unite in .ascribing to Narses an 
invitation to the Lombards to enter Italy. Agathias and Marius, however, who were 
contemporaries of Narses, do not allude to it. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum, 
which Mommsen pronounces an extract from the lost history of Secundus of Trent, 
written about 612, says expressly that Alboin led his Lombards into Italy upon in vita- 


when Pope John learned that the Romans had sent an accusation 
against Narses to the emperor he went hastily to Naples. And 
Pope John began to entreat Narses to return to Rome. Then 
Narses said : "Tell me, most holy Father, what evil have I done to 
the Romans ? I shall go back to the feet of him that sent me and 
all Italy shall know how I have toiled for her with all my strength." 
Pope John answered and said: "I myself shall go to him sooner 
than you shall leave this land." And Narses returned to Rome 
with the most holy pope John.^ 

Then the most holy pope withdrew to the cemetery of Saints 
Tiburtius and Valerian and abode there a long time, so that he 
even consecrated bishops there.^ But Narses entered Rome and 
after a long time he died. And his body was laid in a leaden cofHn 
and was carried with all his riches to Constantinople.^ 

Then Pope John Hkewise died and was buried in the basilica of 
blessed Peter, the apostle,^ 

July 13- I 

"I* •!• •!• ■!■ ^ ^ H" ^ 5 

And the bishopric was empty 10 months and 3 days 
on the 13 th day of July. | 

tion from Narses. Isidore of Seville (560-636) hints at a disagreement between Narses 
and the empress. The chronicle that passes under the name of Fredegarius, composed 
probably about 640, is the first to relate the famous story of the golden distaff sent by 
Sophia to Narses to show her scorn for his effeminacy. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 307, n. 7 ; 
Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vol. V, passim. The Lombard invasion occurred in 568. 

1 The return of Narses to Rome was in 571. There is no other account of the 
intercession of the pope. 

2 The little church of SS. Tiburtius and Valerian stood over the catacomb of Pre- 
textatus on the Via Appia, about two mUes from the city. The retirement of the pope 
to this secluded spot seems to have had some connection with the situation at Rome 
at the time of the disgrace and return of Narses but we lack the information to deter- 
mine what the connection was. 

^Narses died in 572 or 573. He is said to have been in his ninety-fifth year. 
There are various references in the chronicles to his great wealth. The imperial system 
of taxation seemed cruel to the impoverished Italians, and there appears to have been a 
widespread feeling that Narses had enriched himself by his relentless exactions. Ideas 
of the kind may have prompted the complaint to the emperor. Later there arose 
legends of the hidden treasure of Narses. 

^ His epitaph has been lost. 

^ List of ordinations. 


LXIV. Benedict I (575-579) 

Benedict, by nationality a Roman, son of Boniface, occupied 
the see 4 years, i month and 28 days. 

At that time the tribe of the Lombards invaded all Italy and 
there was also a great famine, so that many fortified towns sur- 
rendered to the Lombards in order that they might be spared the 
rigor of the famine.^ And when Justinian, the 

most devout | 

emperor, heard that Rome was endangered by the famine 

and by the pestilence | 

he sent to Egypt and dispatched ships laden with corn to Rome ; ^ 
and thus God had compassion on the land of Italy. 

In the midst of these hardships and afiiictions the most holy 
pope Benedict died. And he was buried in the basilica of blessed 
Peter, the apostle, in the vestry,^ 

July 31- I 

* * * * * * * *4 

And the bishopric was empty 3 months and 10 days 
on the 30th day of July. | 

1 Paul the Deacon, who bases his account partly upon the Lib. Pont, and partly 
upon the lost history of Secundus of Trent, gives the following description of the misery 
at this time. "In these days many Roman nobles were killed through avarice (Lom- 
bard avarice). And the rest were distributed among the invaders to pay a third part 
of their produce to the Lombards and were made tributary. In the seventh year after 
the arrival of Alboin and all his nation the churches had been despoiled by the Lombard 
dukes, the priests slaughtered, the cities ravaged and the people exterminated who lived 
by the cultivation of crops, except in those regions which Alboin had conquered, and 
Italy for the most part was taken and subdued by the sword." History of the Lom- 
bards, tr. Foulke, f . 68. 

2 The emperor's name should be Justin, not Justinian. Justin II died in 578. 
Other sources say nothing of grain ships sent by him to Italy, but the records are all so 
scanty that the omission casts no doubt upon the statement of the Lib. Pont. 

3 The word translated vestry is "secretarium." The name was applied to a small 
chamber opening to the left of the portico of old St. Peter's, originally used by the popes 
as a robing room. Later it was converted into a chapel and the tomb of Benedict 
was beneath the altar. His epitaph is lost. 

* List of ordinations. 


LXV. Pelagius II (579-590) 

Pelagius, by nationality a Roman, son of Unigild, occupied the 
see 10 years, 2 months and 10 days. He was ordained without 
commission from the emperor, because the Lombards were be- 
sieging the city of Rome and were working much havoc in Italy.^ 

At that time there were such heavy rains that every one said that 
the waters of the flood had overflowed ; - and such fearful carnage 
that no one remembered that its like had ever been in the world. 

At that time Pelagius enclosed the body of blessed Peter, the 
apostle, in plates of gilded silver.^ He made of his own house 

* The siege of Rome in 579 is not mentioned by any other contemporary historian. 
We have, however, a letter written by Pelagius in 580 to Aunarius, bishop of Auxerre, 
in which he laments the shedding of innocent blood, the violation of the holy altars and 
the insults offered to the catholic faith by "the idolaters." Already he turns his eyes 
toward the Franks as possible deliverers, "the divinely appointed neighbors and helpers 
of this city and all Italy," and bids Aunarius warn them to refrain from alliance with 
the Lombards. He sends Aunarius certain sacred relics, and adds : "We urge you to 
hasten, so far as you are able, to free from the pollution of the Gentiles the shrines of the 
saints whose merits you seek." Jaffe, Regesta, vol. I, p. 138, 580. Migne, Pat. Lat., 
vol. 72, col. 705. In 584 Pelagius writes that he has sent envoys to Constantinople to 
beseech the aid of the emperor before the Lombards seize the few places that are left 
to the imperial government. "The district about Rome is," he says, "in the main 
destitute of any defenders and the exarch writes that he can provide no remedy." In 
585 he sends several letters to the bishops of Aquileia and Istria, who were at odds with 
him over the question of the Three Chapters. Supra, p. 157, n. i; p. 161, n. 2. He says 
that he has been prevented from writing before by the stress of events and the pressure 
of the enemy but that at last through the efforts of the exarch Smaragdus they are en- 
joying an interval of peace and quiet. Jaffe, ibid., pp. 138 and 139, 1052, 1054-1056. 

^ The great flood of the Tiber occurred in the autumn of 589 and was followed by a 
pestilence which brought about Pelagius' death. Gregory I, writing five years later, 
says that the waters flowed in over the walls of the city and flooded most of it. Dialogi, 
HI, 19; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 77, cols. 268, 269. Gregory of Tours also relates the 
story. "Now in the fifteenth year of King Childebert (590), our deacon came from the 
city of Rome with relics of the saints and reported that in the ninth month (November) 
of the previous year the waters of the Tiber had overspread Rome in such a flood that 
the ancient buildings had been destroyed and the storehouses of the church wrecked, 
within which some thousands of measures of wheat had been lost. . . . Thereupon 
followed a pestilence, which they call ' inguinaria ' ; it broke out in the middle of the 
eleventh month (January, 590) and first of all . . . it attacked Pelagius, the pope, 
and speedily he died ; and after his death there was great mortality among the people 
by reason of this plague." History of the Franks, X, i ; ed. Poupardin, p. 409. An 
English translation of Gregory's History by Brehaut will be found in another volume 
of the Records of Civilization. 

^ The sarcophagus of the apostle had been interred by Constantine too deep to be 


an almshouse | a hostelry 

for aged poor. He constructed the cemetery of blessed Hermes, 
the martyr.^ He built from its foundations a basilica over the body 
of blessed Lawrence, the martyr, and beautified his sepulchre with 
silver plates.^ And he died and was buried in the church of blessed 
Peter, the apostle,^ 
February 7. | 

disturbed or to need protection. Supra, p. 53 and n. 3. Our author may be describ- 
ing rather inaccurately some new reliefs for the decoration of the confession. Gregory 
I says in one of his letters : "When my predecessor of blessed memory thought to change 
the silver which was over the most sacred body of blessed Peter, the apostle, though it 
was distant about fifteen feet from the body, a sign of great terror appeared to him." 
Epistolcc, IV, 30 ; Migne, Pat. LaL, vol. 77, col. 701. That Pelagius actually made some 
innovations in the furniture of the basilica is evidenced by two sets of inscriptions, both 
of which were visible in the ninth century, one on the altar, the other on an ambone. 
The last lines of the former may be translated as follows : 

" For which (the Roman state) the priest offers these gifts and prays 
That a season of rest be granted to the princes. 

That the enemy be conquered throughout the world by the power of Peter 
And peace and our faith be with the Gentiles and the people." 
Duchesne, Lib. Pont., vol. I, p. 310, n. 3. 

1 The basilica at the cemetery of St. Hermes on the Via Salaria Vetus, of which 
vestiges may still be seen. 

^ The repairs which Pelagius executed in the smaller and older basilica of San 
Lorenzo remain for the most part to this day. Supra, p. 61, n. 2. The Goths had 
apparently done considerable damage to the building and a hill or bank close by threat- 
ened to crush it. Pelagius rebuilt it, using original materials as far as he could, but en- 
larging its capacity and improving the lighting by raising the roof, adding the galleries 
and piercing the upper walls with numerous windows. The columns of the galleries 
and the architraves on which they rest were taken from ancient buildings in the vicinity. 
They are of all sizes and styles and are pieced together with no attempt at artistic 
unity or workmanlike effect. A little original carving in the Byzantine manner was 
done by stone-cutters, brought perhaps from Ravenna. Pelagius also dug away and 
removed the hill which overhung the basilica and adorned the apse with the mosaic, 
the upper portion of which may still be seen over the triumphal arch. The portrait 
of Pelagius himself is on the extreme left and the face has not been altered since his 
day. Duchesne prints the metrical inscription which enumerates these various im- 
provements. Op. cit., p. 310, n. 5. Frothingham, Monuments, pp. 87-88, 281-282. 
The silver plates or reliefs of the confession have, of course, disappeared. Gregory I 
has another anecdote to show how unsafe Pelagius found it to approach too near a holy 
tomb, even with the zeal of the restorer. "My predecessor of holy memory likewise 
wished to make some restorations about the body of Saint Lawrence, the martyr. 
But since it was not known where the venerable body lay, he searched for it by digging 
and of a sudden in their ignorance the sepulchre was laid open. Those who were 
present and took part in the work, monks and attendants, who saw the body of the 
martyr, although they did not presume to touch it, all died within ten days." Epistola, 
IV, 30; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 77, col. 701. 

' His epitaph has not been preserved. 



•!• •!* 'r "I* *!• •!• ^ 

And the bishopric was empty 3 months and 25 days 

on the 7 th day of February in 
the 5th indiction. 

From the death of Saint Sil- 
vester to the first Gregory was 
246 years. 

* 1 

^ List of ordinations. 






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